Less than a third of the world’s gamers speak English natively – so devs who don’t localise they’re titles are shutting out the majority of their potential audience.
The stat was revealed by Universally Speaking director Loreto Sanz Fueyo, during her talk at today’s TIGA QA, Localisation and Customer Support Summit in London.
The localisation expert began her talk with the revelation that English is the native language for just 375m people – as opposed to the world’s 980m Chinese speakers.
Several countries speak English proficiently, but this still means that only 27 per cent of the gaming population will be able to understand and enjoy English-language games.
Outside the UK, US and other native English nations, the territories that have the highest proficiency for the language included Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Estonia, Luxembourg and Poland. This at least gives developers some regions they can target without too much localisation but Sanz Fueyo stressed that it’s still worth translating into their native languages.
The markets with the lowest proficiency for English include France, Italy, Russia, Spain, Turkey – all huge regions for games companies.
Discussing how you can gauge interest in your game overseas before investing in localisation, Sanz Fueyo suggested translating the app store description, metadata and keywords in different regions. If you receive good feedback, it’s then advised to go for a full translation.
It’s also important to remember to translate the messaging in your marketing campaigns, promotions and social media campaigns in order to reach gamers in those markets.