Develop Awards 2015: Partner spotlight - LocalizeDirect

Michael Souto talks us through the localisation specialist's hopes of transitioning from bridesmaid to bride
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Continuing our look at the companies supporting this year's Develop Awards, we speak to Michael Souto, business development director at localisation experts Localize Direct.

The former developers tells us more about the company's services and champions the lower barriers to entry for new and aspiring games developers.

Partner spotlight: LocalizeDirect

Year founded: 2009

Website:www.localizedirect.com

For any readers who might not know you, tell us a little more about your company and its goal.
LocalizeDirect is a tech-focussed company dedicated to helping developers reach more global customers. This extended global reach is of course primarily achieved by localizing into multiple languages. However this can regularly be a pain. Our streamlining products have received industry recognition and are used by an increasing number of development teams worldwide.

Since launching our first product LocDirect, a CMS for localization assets, we now offer a full suite of tools designed to help with all aspects of the localization process. We have StoreFront, an online application that allows the user to perfect their game AppStore page and preview before actually sending for submission. We also provide translations through an extensive network of professional games translators.

What differentiates you from similar outfits? What’s unique about you?
We have two key differentiators at LocalizeDirect. We are very much focussed on process. We provide solutions that streamline and maximise effort made when attempting to appeal to a global market. It’s not just about the translations for us, it’s about how easy and painless we can make that process for the developer. Secondly it’s the fact that we are all ex games developers so have a game developer’s perspective. The core team have a huge amount of game production experience. Some of the standout titles under our development belts are; TimeSplitters 2, Commandos: Men of Courage, Richard Burns Rally and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

So we’ve lived the dev process on lots of games and understand where things can go wrong with localization.

What excites and/or encourages you about the games industry and games development today? 
It’s just getting bigger and bigger. The super exciting thing from my ex-developer perspective is the ability to get out there and make your own game, then share it around the world in no time at all. Unless of course you want to create a game with a multi-million pound budget then the tools are there for you to do it with a small team. And long gone are the difficulties of reaching players on the other side of the world.

Small, flexible teams making the games they want to make. It’s great stuff! These small teams however need to work smart so the need for solid process is absolutely vital.

Regarding the Develop Awards finalists, what does it say to you about the industry and development today?
Well, having 250 companies nominated and then 137 shortlisted indicates how big the industry has grown. It’ll be interesting to see these numbers next year. It’s also great to see how it’s all changed. The Develop Awards used to be the big console releases battling it out but that’s clearly not the case any more. It’s great to see this kind of diversity and creativity in terms of small studios really making a mark.

Do you have a message for the finalists?
Good luck and remember, there’s always next year if you don’t win this year. Just keep it up and keep making great games. To the companies outside studios but nevertheless contribute greatly to game generation, keep innovating and keep up the support. It’s a great industry to be in.

Anything else you’d like to add about your company and the Develop Awards?
Fingers crossed we’ll get the nod this year. We’ve grown our user base, released extended functionality and services and we think that people like what we offer. Hopefully the judges will do too. It’s our fifth nomination – from Bridesmaid to Bride? We’ll see.

About the Develop Awards

This year’s Develop Awards ceremony will be held at the Brighton Hilton Metropole on Wednesday, July 15th. It runs alongside the Develop: Brighton conference, organised by Tandem Events.

You can book your tickets over at www.developawards.com, or by contacting Kathryn Humphrey via khumphrey@nbmedia.com or call her on 01992 535646.

Other Develop Awards supporters include gold partners UKIE, Amiqus and Unity, table gift partner OPM, drinks reception partner Keywords Studios and event partners Aardvark Swift, Game Connection, Green Man Loaded, InnoGames and Universally Speaking and Develop: Brighton. Unity is also partner for the Micro Studio Award, while Iconicfuture is sponsoring the Use of a Licence or IP Award.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Charlotte Nangle via cnangle@nbmedia.com or call her on 01992 515303.

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