A review of Gamescom 2016

Mario Tarantino, one of Capita TI’s Business Development Managers, visited this year’s Gamescom event in Germany. Mario talks to us about how he found the show, where he believes the gaming industry is going, and the complexities around translating niche subject matters.

 For a few days in August, Cologne became the hotspot of the European gaming community. Everywhere you looked, people were sporting Gamescom badges, videogame-branded t-shirts, and in some cases, full-size cosplay outfits!

The hype is more than justified for one of the biggest celebrations of an industry that some say will be worth well over $100 billion by 2019.

The future of Gaming

Taking part in Gamescom is a great occasion to witness the dual nature of the gaming industry. You of course have the fans queuing for a chance to play the latest releases and hear all about what the giants like EA Games and Activision have to say about the future of gaming, and it seems that virtual reality, portable devices and online multiplayer platforms are now an absolute must.

Such a massive industry has to face the constant evolution of its framework – and here is where the business areas come in.

The buzz around the various stands was palpable. While trade in some sectors has been affected by recent political instability, a growing gaming community perfectly represents how – irrespective of one’s geographical location – great ideas make companies flourish and spread on a global scale almost instantaneously. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that companies of all sizes active in the gaming industry need to put some serious thought into their localisation strategies.

Gaming localisation

One of the most exciting aspects of gaming localisation is how varied the requirements are, and how quickly Language Service Providers must adapt their offering in order to provide functional solutions to the gaming community. The notion of game developers needing a 360 degree offering (for their marketing content, legal documentation, and so on) is commonplace by now – or at least it should be – but one of the main takeaways from Gamescom 2016 for me was that ‘gaming localisation’ might mean a lot more than we normally think.

Building user engagement vs. technical translation

Let me give you an example. A game developer has just released a new flight simulator title and is approached by two translators – one with extensive experience in translating games – and another professional aerospace translator. Which one should the game developer choose? The gaming translator will certainly be able to immediately identify and localise the various functions inherent to a video-game, but will they have the necessary knowledge of aerospace engineering to accurately translate the technical terminology that will surely be present in the game? Similarly for the aerospace translator – the technical terminology will be safe – but will they be able to engage the gamers appropriately?

As increasingly specialised games are released, an ever-growing number of niches appear, and filling every one of them in all the release languages can become a monumental task.

The best approach would be to source a Language Service Provider who has not only gaming localisation experience, but who can also source a range of resources from all subject areas for you. At Capita Translation and Interpreting we are proud of having collaborated with some of the top players in the gaming industry, gaining precious experience about the potential pitfalls of game localisation, and the ways to maximise quality and return on investment. We also have a wide portfolio of partners across a range of business sectors, so no matter what your game is about, it’s likely we’ll have linguists who know the ins-and-outs of the subject matter.

The worldwide gaming community has become more and more discerning over the past few years, and top-quality localisation is essential to keep gamers engaged.

Capita Translation and Interpreting keeps looking forward to supporting your business in this task!

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