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


How the iPod Explains Globalization

Innovation and Job Creation in a Global Economy

A New York Times article published in June explores the research done by a trio of researchers – Greg Linden, University of California, Berkeley; Jason Dedrick, Syracuse University; and Kenneth L. Lraemer, University of California, Irvine – as to the relationship of a product (Apple’s iPod) to the globalization economy as a whole. The paper, entitled Innovation and Job Creation in a Global Economy: The Case of Apple’s iPod, was written in response to the growing assumption that domestic innovation only increases jobs abroad, leaving domestic workers without jobs.

From NYTimes.com:

Now come what might be the surprises. The first is that even though most of the iPod jobs are outside the United States, the lion’s share of the iPod salaries are in America. Those 13,920 American workers earned nearly $750 million. By contrast, the 27,250 non-American Apple employees took home less than $320 million.

That disparity is even more significant when you look at the composition of America’s iPod workforce. More than half the U.S. jobs — 7,789 — went to retail and other nonprofessional workers, like office support staff and freight and distribution workers. But those workers earned just $220 million.

As with everything, there are winners a losers. In this case, the winners are the Apple innovators and shareholders, while the losers are those who look grimly at “the American iPod jobs [that] are relatively poorly paid and low-skilled.”

The full New York Times article is available to read at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/01/world/asia/01iht-letter01.html?_r=1

The research piece is available at: http://pcic.merage.uci.edu/papers/2011/InnovationJobCreationiPod.pdf

Join our upcoming webinar on December 1st at 11am PT to learn about the strategies used in localizing a major online music store


Upcoming Webinar: Justifying Software Internationalization to Management

The business case for internationalization is clear: companies have to sell to customers who are buying –> international customers present good buying opportunities –> products must be adapted to sell to international customers. Great, grand, wonderful (no yelling on the bus)! It all sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Well if it were all so easy, we would be spending 50 weeks per year on vacation and two weeks per year working. This is not the case.

Companies get bogged down in discussing costs, implementation and justification of all things, including internationalization. This inspired us to develop a webinar on how to justify internationalization to management. We have heard questions from customers about how the lack of a definitive i18n/L10n process is slowing their department down, but they don’t have the numbers, the raw data to quantify the use of tools to aid the process.

The webinar is free of charge, more info:

Adam will discuss a number of topics, including:

  • How would management be affected if you failed to meet quarterly expectations internationally due to a lack of understanding between developers and localization caused by an unclear i18n/L10n process?
  • How much time (and money) is spent on bug fixing? And what exactly is an i18n bug?
  • How to create an internationalization plan.
  • How to lower overall cost by establishing a stable QA process.
  • How to managing the internationalization process.
  • How to present numbers and strategies to management in a clear and concise manner, and much more.
If you are unable to attend, a recording of the webinar will be made available following the event. Follow @Lingoport to receive updates.

Internationalization and Canada

This is a summary of an article written by Adam Asnes of Lingoport for the September 2010 issue of Multilingual Computing Magazine.

Canada can serve as a valuable stepping stone for companies looking to take the first step towards global development. With minimal barriers for American companies to doing business in Canada and the strength of the Canadian dollar (allowing American exports to be cheaper), partnership opportunities are springing up everywhere.  Companies looking to sell in Canada can do so without overhauling their product, but they do need to consider a few differences. In terms of translation, there are a few words that need to be looked at since Canada is a new locale (language+location) such as “center” vs. “centre” and “color” vs. “colour.” While English translations are easy to identify, remember that Canada has two official languages: English and French. While my Canadian language law knowledge is no broader than this scene from Canadian Bacon, I do know that companies looking to do business with the whole of Canada or the Canadian government need to adapt their software to support French as well.

There are a few more internationalization issues to consider when adapting a product to a Canadian market. Most stem from entry of data: postal codes, shipping addresses and business logic. While internationalization is never easy, Canada does present a great opportunity to test i18n efforts. The proximity to the US, sharing of time zones and general lack of language barrier allow for easy communication allow for clients to simply pick up the phone and say, “Hey, is it working?” and get an immediate response. In this way, companies can springboard their internationalization efforts having the reassurance that their development strategy works.

For the full article, please visit http://www.lingoport.com/internationalization-and-canada

How Sports Globalization Reflects the Internationalization Process

As for any global undertaking, there are huge questions when entering new markets. This is no different for a software company facing internationalization issues or a sports franchise pursuing a globally-recognizable brand.  I came across an abstract for a paper on the internationalization process of soccer team brands (run a search for “internationalization of football team brands” and it will be your first option) and realized that the same concerns that a team trying to spread its brand to a new market has, occur with any company with a global outlook.  In past years, the NFL has played one regular season game per year in London in an effort to promote the game abroad. Similar efforts have been taken by the MLB, NBA and NHL as they expand their market reach.

Firms measure success with internationalization when, after entering a new locale, the firm sees greater economic success. Whether it’s a sports franchise or a firm pursuing an international reach, the measurements are simple: if sales are greater internationally after undertaking an internationalization effort, then it was worth it.

But just throwing a product out on an international market is seldom good enough. Foreign customers need something to grab on to; something they can relate with. For example, popularity of the NBA exploded after Yao Ming became a star because Chinese fans had someone they can relate to. The NBA was no longer some foreign pro sports league, it was a league they had a direct influence on.

Now this may be a leap in logic, but I consider the same idea to be applicable to localization. International markets will seldom use a product that isn’t identified as their own; whether it is because it’s in another language, has non-intuitive instructions or whatever it may be that is lost in translation. On the contrary, when a product as identified as local in nature and as something that is useful, naturally positive results will follow.

If you have any thoughts on this, please don’t hesitate to comment below.

Macroeconomic Argument for American Companies to Internationalize

Summary of article by Philip Guarino of Elementi Consulting (see link below)

You hear it in the news everyday… bad economy this, bad economy that. But are there opportunities that an otherwise good economy would not present?

That answer is yes.

Data gathered by the US Department of Commerce shows that American consumers are spending less and saving more. With exports playing a relatively small part in US GDP, this means that the domestic market that so many companies rely on isn’t yielding the same level of demand that it once did. Additionally, with the depreciating dollar, the power of the money earned domestically is also decreasing. The kicker here is that the dollar is now cheaper for foreign countries to buy. This gives foreign countries more incentive to import products from the US.

The next step is how; how can US companies take advantage of a devalued dollar in a struggling economy? Through internationalization of their products, US companies can make their products more appealing to foreign buyers, thus capitalizing on the increased buying power in the foreign market.

For the full article, visit http://www.elementiconsulting.com/insights/the-export-imperative/

Lingoport has helped companies reach international markets since 2001: http://www.lingoport.com/