As a business, your focus is not to make a game available for potential users but to connect with them. The same holds true for Muslim countries. Therefore, if you need to tap into the huge potential market that Muslim countries have to offer, you can’t ignore the importance of localization and translation.
In fact, you, as a game developer or publisher, should always be willing to consider Persian or Farsi translation services, or linguistic expertise in any other language such as Turkish, Arabic, etc.
The purpose of video game translation and localization efforts is to bridge the language & cultural gap that exists between you and your consumers (game players). For instance, you had a video game and you originally built that game with English-speaking players in mind. Now you want to release it in a Muslim country, such as Iran.
So, how can you ignore a professional Farsi translation and localization strategy before entering Iran, where more than 60% of people speak Farsi or the Persian language?
Top game translation and localization challenges in the Muslim countries
Similar to other cultures of the world, Islamic culture is unique, with its own Muslim values and customs.
While it may appear that translating and localizing a video game for Muslim nations is easy, it’s not actually the case. Because Islamic culture, like most cultures in the world, is unique, with its own Muslim values and customs. So, when you include this culturalization aspect into the mix, the entire video game translation and localization becomes even more daunting.
The goal is to create the same gaming experience as was created in the original game. But it will come with several unique challenges. Hence, you will have to understand all the nuances and obstacles that may come your way.
Here is a list of top challenges to consider when it’s time to localize a video game for Muslim countries.
The linguistic barriers
It’s the most obvious challenge when you try to localize a product or service for foreign markets. So, you will have to encounter many language barriers when considering gaming translation services to enter Muslim countries.
For instance, you want to release your game in the MENA region: a group of almost 21 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The region has great potential for the gaming business. For instance, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is a key economy in this MENA region, has a game market that values at about $680 million in revenue.
In terms of languages, there are a plethora of them that people in this region speak. There are more than 60 languages in the Middle East, let alone the countries in and around North Africa.
You will have to understand the many languages present in these countries, like Arabic, Persian or Farsi, Turkish, Hebrew, Kurdish, and more. There will be even languages of which you may be totally unaware. The dialects in the same language can also vary significantly.
Similarly, you can’t ignore languages that are written in a very formal way. The key to overcoming all such language barriers is to find a reliable language service provider. A provider who can come in and provide you translation and localization service you need to accurately convey your message to the local audience.
You have to deal with many cultural nuances, differences, and sensitivities while localizing your video game for Muslim countries. The purpose here is to adjust your game in a way that fits the culture and customs of a target locale.
We generally refer to this as culturalization. And the process involves everything from visuals and sound to character designs, storylines, music themes, and effects.
As you try to adapt your game to a Muslim country, you must be aware of the different cultural sensitivities Muslim countries have. For instance, if you’re entering Saudi Arabia then you must realize that showing public affection is not allowed there. If your gameplay includes elements or characters that openly display intimacy or things like that, you will have to change them for the audience. The best way to handle such issues would be to consult Arabic translation services when entering a country like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Writing format and text expansions
Writing format is another important thing you must consider in your video game translation and localization.
For instance, English is written from left to right, but this is not the case with a language such as Arabic. Since Arabic is written from right to left, you’ll have to adjust the different design elements and user interface accordingly.
Similarly, text expansion could be a challenge, too. For example, if your game is written in English then the English text is typically very compact. When you want to translate it into Arabic, it’s sure to expand, taking up more space than its English equivalent. Thus, you will badly need professional Arabic translation that can minimize your effort to adjust the game’s user interface, layout, and other text elements.
This concludes our list of some top challenges a video game translation and localization can present when you try to tap into Muslim markets. When you actually start a project, you will come to realize how complex it can be to localize your game for Muslim countries.
It takes so much time, effort, and market research to make sure your video game is culturally and locally relevant to the Muslim audience. It often starts with hiring an expert translation and localization partner for making the project a true success on the first attempt.