Argentina: A Burgeoning Game Development Market

A globalization success; Formerly low development costs turn into high quality

The video game industry has seen an explosion in Latin America over the past ten years as developers have begun to meet industry standards after previously being a place known for cheap labor.

Historically, the video game industry has been concentrated in the US, Europe and Asia, but Latin American developers have emerged while attracting funding for game development for brands Facebook and MTV.

“It has been proven that [the Latin American video game] industry is really up to the standards, and we can compete with good quality works coming from the most important markets abroad. It’s not about costs as much as it used to be,” says Hernán Rozenwasser, CEO of QB9. “Another thing that sets us apart is our artistic traditions: Argentina has always produced high-quality movies, television and music, and that shows up in our work too.”

Software globalization brought cheaper access to hardware and software for universities and schools, allowing those with their eye on software development to pursue something they loved. Political and socioeconomic hardship have led Latin American young people to develop a fierce independent streak, an attribute critical for tech innovation.

Many of the industry’s most recognized names are attending trade shows in South America:

James Portnow, CEO of Seattle-based Rainmaker Games, who was a keynote speaker at the Argentina Video Games Exposition in Buenos Aires on November 11, said: “Five years ago, when I first started looking at Latin America, there was no gaming industry here; you had some people really hoping, really passionate about games, but no actual businesses. Today, I see a burgeoning market.

“Latin America still has a relatively small gaming community. There is so much potential, so I would encourage developers here to concentrate on building up their internal market.”

The trend is expected to continue as mobile and social game applications gain steam internationally.

For more, read Argentina’s video gamers take on the world

Want to learn more about adapting mobile and social games for international markets? Attend our free webinar on December 1st at 11am PT: Lingoport.com/mobile-games-webinar


World Gaming Executive Magazine Launch

The gaming community recently saw the release of a comprehensive digital magazine targeting world gaming executives and providing in-depth articles for the those in all facets of the gaming community. Below is an excerpt from World Gaming Executives Director John Armstrong:

Great news on the launch of World Gaming Executives Magazine WGE:MAG just 2 weeks ago. Since that time, there have been over 2500 downloads, the number of daily visitors to www.worldgamingexecutives.com has doubled and one particular article in the magazine has been picked up by dozens of gaming magazines including Eurogamer (and translated into 6 languages -that we know of).

Not seen the magazine yet? Take a look here:
http://www.worldgamingexecutives.com/page/articles-2

An interesting idea shared in the magazine is that of grabbing your audiences attention. No matter what business you’re in, your goal is to earn attention from your customers, both current and potential. Without attention there is no business. Brands have been jumping on the gaming trend to further increase their interaction with customers. Zynga, for example, has created its own virtual economy where users can purchase upgrades for their games and advertisers can target specific users. This must be done subtly, however, as gamers don’t like clunky in-your-face ads.

But where is the next wave of attention coming from? With the emergence of more developed and sophisticated users internationally, it’s hard to ignore the emerging opportunities to globalize social and mobile games. To learn more about these trends, and the projected value of adapting games to new locales, I encourage you to read Social & Mobile Apps and Globalization – Confessions of a g11n Veteran 


Sign up for an interactive webinar on December 1st at 11am PST on how to take your mobile games and apps global

Mobile & Global Business

With the recent surpassing of mobile web traffic over classic PC-based traffic, emphasis has been placed on businesses to establish themselves in the mobile realm. However, much of this mobile growth is coming internationally, leading to a need to integrate mobile development with localization.

Projections

Everyday we read the “latest projections” for mobile, each telling us a different statistic, but all demonstrating the same idea: mobile usage is surpassing PC usage and mobile usage is increasing in developing countries. ABI Research has indicated that mobile commerce will grow to $119bn by 2015. That a number that is hard to ignore, especially so when mobile phones often provides the only pathway to the internet for users in developing countries.

What Does This Mean for Global Business?

Businesses without an established plan to capitalize on increasing mobile use in developing markets are sure to fail in those markets. Surely, if one’s competition is localizing their mobile efforts in a market, then consumers in that market will prefer their products as if those products are their own. It’s a large initiative, but the process may already be in place…

Localization and Mobile

Companies that have previously localized their websites need only to adapt their site to mobile. This process is mostly test-intensive and involves checking functionality across mobile platforms. Localizing mobile apps is test-intensive as well, stemming from the differences in Android, Apple, Blackberry and Windows mobile operating systems.

It’s obviously important for businesses to keep up with these emerging trends to stay ahead of the competition. Assuming, however, competing businesses are operating under similar global initiatives, it comes down to who does it better; who has the best tools.

More Information on Mobile & Globalization

Stay tuned for an informational webinar on Thursday, December 1st from Lingoport CEO Adam Asnes and LocLabs CEO Danica Brinton who has worked on mobile and game localization strategies with many top global companies.

Growth of the Gadget

Use of PC’s has increased at a steady rate while use of tablets and smartphones forcasts to be increasing at an exponential rate in recent years. Also note how use of devices will increase in foreign countries in the coming years.

Do you have the strategies in place to become global ready and take advantage of this expanding foreign market?

Netflix Announces Streaming Expansion to UK & Ireland

Netflix to Launch Service in the UK and Ireland for Streaming Movies and TV Shows in Early 2012

Netflix announced today that they will expand their streaming services to the UK and Ireland by early 2012, a move that will offer unlimited streaming to internet devices for users in those locales.

Netflix has expanded its international reach greatly in recent years by expanding to Canada in 2010 and to 43 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in September 2011.

For more information please visit http://netflix.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=415

Game Localization: the Basics

With a number of foreign markets emerging with buying power and tech-aptitude, product managers are focusing more on adapting their products to those foreign markets. This is especially the case with the emergence of smart phones and social networks that are capable of providing a platform for games. The combination of these emerging markets and emerging game platforms has led to an emphasis on localization for game developers.

Game localization is the process of preparing a game for a new locale. It goes beyond simple translation to consider linguistic issues, hardware issues and cultural differences that each target locale requires. Like all forms of localization, game localization has become a paramount task for developers to undertake when creating a new game with so much of the game market coming from non-English speaking countries. From context for translation, to understanding cultural differences, ensuring quality is paramount to a successful international release.

Language

“All your base are belong to us” – an infamous line from the 1991 video game Zero Wing that has become something of a cultural hit. Translating a video game’s dialogue is a tricky task. Translators need to work off of context, something that standalone video game text does not provide. With so many games now allowing users to make their own decisions, the context for each point of dialogue is different in each instant. Planning ahead and providing context to the translation team, instead of just a translation sheet, assures better quality, and better ease of translation.
Also take into consideration that different languages use a different amount of text to convey the same idea. Don’t overlook resizing of text boxes, and ensure that there is enough space available for the necessary text.

Culturalization

Like any product being prepared for a new locale, cultural aspects must be considered when localizing. Games are no different. Typically, gamers in Japan are drawn to younger game characters on a quest to find themselves while American gamers are drawn to older, more rugged ones. The perception of violence, blood and gore in video games will also affect public opinion on a localized game. Keeping track of where those aspects of the game are in your development process will save time when localizing. Do the necessary research to understand what your target market values in a game. Take care of this first, it will prove valuable in the long run.

Legal

Countries have different governing bodies that enforce ratings on games. Issues with violence, sex or foul language must be considered when preparing a game for a new locale. It is possible that a game can be banned if it does not meet the standards set in place by the governing body in a new territory.

Conclusion
Ensuring that all these steps are taken will grant a more successful international release. Taking note of where localization issues will arise, during the initial game development process, will save time and money when aiming for a simultaneous release in multiple markets.

Gamers take value in high-quality games. Taking the necessary steps to understand a foreign market is valuable to the success of a localized game. Developing games for multiple locales? Visit Lingoport.com for internationalization support.

Website Localization: Factors to Consider

The Emergence of Brazil

With nearly one-third of the world population using the internet, more and more opportunities are arising for people to communicate and for companies to reach new markets. Adapting an e-commerce website to a new locale has become an essential way for online businesses to survive and thrive in new markets. In an insightful post from the GPI Translation Blog, we learn first hand some of the strategies that go into localizing a website for a new locale; specifically Brazil.

Brazil will be in the world spotlight in the coming years with the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. China gets the headlines as the next economic superpower, but Brazil lies-in-wait as another market ready to explode. With a current base of 50 million Internet users, Brazil presents an excellent business opportunity for companies. But what specifically must be done to sell to these new consumers? Selling strategies in the United States do not stick in Brazil; new approaches must be developed.

Brazilian Market

  • The Internet is predominantly used by upper and middle-classes, but government initiatives have worked to gain funding for Internet cafes to help lower income groups have Internet access.

Brazilian Consumers & Culture

  • Brazilian society places high importance on looking good and appearance.
  • Brazilians prefer goods made within their own country whenever possible.
  • Decision-making power for Brazilian women has increased.
  • Brazilians are often budget-conscious and look for the absolute best value they can find.
  • Latin cultures place great emphasis on family and community, Brazil included.
  • Brazilian culture values masculinity which can be depicted as achievement, success, adventure and fun.

Brazilian Portuguese vs. European Portuguese

  • When localizing a website for Brazil, consider many of the spelling and verb tense differences within the two main Portuguese dialects.

SEO & SEM in Brazil

  • As all marketing strategies go, Brazilian SEO campaigns need to be multidimensional.
  • Be advised that while focusing on Portuguese search terms is important, bilingual users also use English to search and navigate the Internet.
  • Keywords and key phrases need not just be translated. Cultural and linguistic issues affect what people search for.

For more information on this subject, please visit:  http://blog.globalizationpartners.com/brazilian-website-localization.aspx