Regarding the type of languages in which the games are integrated, it is generally French, German or Japanese. But did you know that there are currently emerging markets in the gaming industry?
Today we will discuss these emerging markets with Ofer Tirosh, CEO and Founder of Tomedes, a translation agency that has provided multilingual solutions in 120 languages to independent game developers and Fortune 500 game companies worldwide. As someone who has been in the industry for fifteen years, he managed several game projects that would resonate and connect with our target market.
For more on this, so stay tuned!
International Gaming Market Growth and Trends for 2022
Let’s discuss the current state of the international gaming industry to begin with. The gaming market has an estimated compound annual growth rate of 9.64% from 2022 to 2027. It has a market value of USD 173.70 billion and an expected value of USD 314.40 billion by 2027.
Currently, the global esports market is valued at around USD 1.08 billion despite the slight decline due to the pandemic. It is estimated that in two years it will reach $1.62 billion.
This is all due to the growing number of console sales, and more and more people getting into esports. The esports community is expected to win 580 million viewers by 2024. E-sports have become increasingly popular, opening up new niches like competitive console games and mobile games, making them more accessible. Moreover, esports has recently started to accept augmented reality games, which will soon become part of the daily life of gamers.
Many developers have sought to localize games, and this trend seems to be increasing every year. It makes sense because there are only about 1.35 billion English speakers. The rest of the world is not fluent in English, which is why the demand for localization has increased.
Why is game localization important?
Since we discussed the fact that game localization projects have increased over the years, let’s answer why this matters. In our interview with Tirosh, we asked him how crucial game localization is to the success of launching a game in a foreign market.
“I think it would be difficult for any game to launch into a foreign market without taking into account the cultural and linguistic barriers of its target region,” Tiroshed explained. “Our role in game localization is to ensure players can understand and connect with game content, improving their overall experience.”
According to Tirosh, the history of video game localization is as old as Pac-Man himself. Originally the Japanese name was Puck-Man, which was changed to its current name when it was released in North America due to concerns that the arcade game would be vandalized due to its proximity with an obscene word.
They also renamed Reddie, Pinky, Bluey and Slowly to Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde respectively. The decision to change the names according to the cultural context of their target audience and not rely on the accurate translation made this game successful in North America. Tirosh said that if done correctly, the game can make a lasting impression on gamers and help the developer’s brand.
Should you expand your games to other overseas markets?
During our interview with Tirosh, we asked if game developers should explore new markets. He said the current gaming industry climate is ripe for that. Now more than ever, game developers should start evaluating potential markets where they can be ahead of their competition.
“Currently, about 40% of the major gaming markets are Asian countries. Experts say that the Middle East and Africa are the fastest growing gaming markets. gambling in these markets is not as plentiful as in others,” Tirosh said.
This is why you should look for a translation agency that specializes in the market you are entering, as the outcome could affect how you progress in expanding your games into foreign markets. There are many Game Localization Considerationsincluding target languages, intonation of language and swear words you will include.
We’ve listed the following markets below that you should start exploring if you’re considering expanding into new markets:
As the second largest population in the world, it is no wonder that they are also considered the top gambling market. According to Business Standard, its value in the gambling market will be around USD 1.8 billion in 2021. It has experienced a compound annual growth rate of 38% from 2017 to 2020.
India has about 270 native languages, 121 languages and 22 official languages. If you are considering entering the market, working with a translation agency can allow you to have your game accessible in different languages under one team instead of having freelance translators.
Compared to other Arabic-speaking countries, Tirosh said video game localization is easier for a UX/UI design expert because instead of text being written right-to-left, it’s left-to-right. Currently, the gambling market in Turkey is worth $1.2 billion. For this reason, it is a promising market for any game developer.
According to Statista, mobile games in the Philippines are on the rise. By 2025, it is expected to generate $1.52 billion in revenue. The Asia-Pacific region’s global market revenue, about 47%, comes from the Philippines.
When considering video game localization for this particular market, the Philippines has 180 languages and three official languages: native (regional language), Filipino, and English. Because it is a country with many languages, the vast majority of the population often mix them up. Taglish is the most common code change of two languages which has its own grammatical rules, in which the English word is conjugated by Tagalog affixes.
In 2021, Brazil generated $2.3 billion in revenue from its gaming industry. If you think you can use the European Portuguese language in your localization, Tirosh explained that it would be a bad idea because Portuguese languages Brazilian and European are very different.
Some are spelled differently, some are not the exact words, or they have different meanings. For this reason, it is wise to seek out a translation agency with native Brazilian Portuguese translators who can effectively translate and convey the message of the game.
The growth of the Polish video game market would be 9.20% from 2022 to 2026 or around 982.50 by 2026. If you plan to implement localization of video games in Polish, you should prepare for it because it is considered one of the most difficult languages. You should therefore look for language experts who are proficient in the Polish language and the cultural preferences of your target region.
The Indonesian video game market is expected to reach USD 2,054 million in 2022. It has been predicted to have an annual growth rate of 6.85% from 2022 to 2026 and will be worth USD 2,677 million in 2026. Among all ASEAN countries, Indonesia has the highest Esport tournament.
If you are planning to start an Esport even in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is the best place where you can expand.
The gaming market in the Middle East is expected to grow by 13.88% from 2022 to 2027. According to Tirosh, 22 countries use Arabic as their official language for business transactions. Depending on the country, there will be a version of the Arabic language that only locals will understand.
If you are considering using a translation agency, make sure they use Modern Standard Arabic, which is understood by most countries. One of the main points to remember is that countries in the Middle East have cultural restrictions that you must follow and respect to avoid legal problems in the long run.
Despite the economic instability brought by the pandemic, the resilience of the global gaming industry shows that game development has great potential. Hopefully the insights of a game localization expert will come in handy as you start planning your strategy for entering any of the mentioned markets.