Type JournalArticle
Date 2018-11-15
Volume 1
Number 1
Tags translation, games
Journal Journal of Audiovisual Translation
Pages 122--138

Game on! Burning issues in game localisation

Interestingly, fan translators often embark on the localisation of a game because they feel that they are not able to experience the game in a similar way to the original players. Thus, fan translations of Japanese games tend to be more literal and more exoticising than official translations, which are sometimes criticised by fans for being too local and for removing traces of the original Japanese culture. This seems paradoxical, as the main objective of game localisation is to provide target players with a similar PX, and that is the reason why games tend to be heavily adapted. Therefore, further research is needed in order to find out more about players' reception of fan-localised versions versus the officially localised versions of games.

The difficulty in obtaining training materials due to the confidential nature of the industry should also be highlighted. Because of this, trainers have to manually transcribe the text from the game or work with open source games which are freely available. One of the pending issues in this area is to establish a fruitful collaboration between industry and academia so that companies can provide trainers with localisable assets of older games. This would also allow for the implementation of small-scale localisation projects which replicate all the steps of a professional localisation project, including quality assessment of the localised game.


Game localisation is a type of audiovisual translation that has gradually been gathering scholarly attention since the mid-2000s, mainly due to the increasing and ubiquitous presence of video games in the digital society and the gaming industry's need to localise content in order to access global markets. This paper will focus on burning issues in this field, that is, issues that require specific attention, from an industry and/or an academic perspective. These include the position of game localisation within the wider translation studies framework,the relationship between game localisation and audiovisual translation, game accessibility, reception studies, translation quality, collaborative translation, technology, and translator training.

Name Role
Carme Mangiron Author