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

Trends in Mobile & Social Applications

The global marketplace is booming for online games, social & mobile games and applications. We have been working with Danica Brinton of LocLabs –a heralded “rock star” in the social/mobile space– recently, and are delighted that she shared some of her insight with us.

Abstract from Social & Mobile Apps and Globalization

There is a level of instant gratification seen from the localization of social games unseen in comparison to software, handhelds, CPU’s, search and web services. This stems from the viral nature of the social-gaming sphere where users are inclined to share games that they enjoy and want to play with friends. Often overlooked, however is that 75% of Facebook users come from outside the US and most prominent social games have over 70% of their user base and 50% of their revenue coming from locales in which the game has been localized. As mobile smart phone adoption grows internationally, the percentages of international usage and revenue (after proper localization) will grow rapidly.

Another trend that presents interesting localization challenges is that of cross-platform apps and games; i.e.: switching Facebook, Android and iPhone platforms. Market tiers differ for these platforms, so do the research into what locales feature more prominently for each platform.

Lastly, it is often quoted that India and China are emerging in the mobile market. As of now, however, India does not necessitate language localization and Mainland China does not present a good positive ROI investment for app localization.


Submit a question for Danica for the upcoming webinar Taking your Mobile Apps Global on LocLabs’ Facebook page, Facebook.com/LocLabs


Register for Webinar: Games and Mobile i18n and L10n

 

 

 

 

The Emergence of Game Localization

This post is a summary of an article posted on Feb. 4th, 2011 for Inside Social Games 

In previous decades, Japan dominated the video game market. With the growing popularity of gaming, companies like EA have emerged as major players in the video game market and have found a need to dedicate a significant amount of resources to translation and localization. Growing up, I remember playing games that weren’t initially developed for an American audience. I remember the Japanese flair being left in games like Final Fantasy VII as well as the early emergence of fighting games like Mortal Kombat stemming from the martial arts background of Asia.

However, with the development of more complex game systems came a need to more seriously localize the video game experience. On a technical side (explained in more detail in the article) game developers have to consider locale requirements while they are in the game design process. Layering the text and graphics in such a way that they are separate entities is an effective method in separating out the material that needs to be localized/translated. Many localization issues that arise for software development also arise in video game development (date formats, currency, units of measurement and cultural issues).

For a more insider perspective on the matter, I encourage you to read the full article on Inside Social Games: http://www.insidesocialgames.com/2011/02/04/localization-is-more-than-a-game/

 

 

 

Brazil Emerging as Game Localization Market

Brazil’s emergence on the tech scene has allowed game developers a whole new market to cater to. Recently, Hazit Online Games partnered with Brussels, Belgium-based localization company MO Group International to help aid their localization development for games in Brazil. The full press release is available here: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/pressreleases/73785/Hazit_Online_Games_Chooses_MO_Group_International_for_SecondMMO_Localization_Project.php

Successful localization in Brazil is a great example for companies looking to take advantage of new emerging markets, especially for games. As I wrote a couple weeks ago, companies are taking advantage of Chinese emergence by providing free access to software and providing paid add-ons once trust is established. This sort of market understanding is a successful localization strategy in that companies need not only to translate, but adapt their software and marketing strategy upon entering a new locale.