The video gaming industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. In 2017, the US gaming industry reached a revenue of $36 billion USD; and if you think this is huge, consider that Asia Pacific reached a revenue of $51.2 billion USD, making it the largest gaming market in 2017.As the gaming market expands, so does the demand for localized content. So it is no surprise that game developers are showing an increasing interest in localizing their content for different audiences. This is great news for language professionals specialized in game localization, but is also an exciting opportunity for those wanting to catch the wave.
If you are interested in becoming a game localizer, but you do not know where to start, you may want to read this list of available resources to help you kick-start your career.
Steam is a digital distribution platform where you can purchase and play video games. Steam launched a project were volunteers can provide game localization services to localize Valve games, selected third-party games and mods, and other Steam content.
Note that in order to be accepted as a localizer by Steam, you will have to pass a selection process which includes translating a sample text in under 30 minutes. So while anyone can submit an application, only those with certain skill levels will be accepted. This means that having localized content for Steam represents a great credential for future positions as a game localizer.
You can apply here: https://translation.steampowered.com
LocJam was a translation contest for game localizers, but their organizers have announced that no new editions are going to be held in the near future. Winning a LocJam competition was considered an important achievement and a real credential for the successful translators.
Although there are no new events scheduled in the near future, you can still download the source files and compare your translations to the winning entries. This will give you a perspective of where you stand in terms of game localization quality.
You can download the translation kit here: http://www.locjam.org/
ProZ.com Pools are groups of specialized language professionals. Pools are broken down by industry areas such as pharmaceutical o literary translators. If you are interested in being part of this pool, you can apply to the game localizer pool now. You will have to undergo a screening process whereby site staff will determine whether your profile in this pool can be approved.
For tips to submit a successful application, you may want to read this blog post:
If your application is accepted, your profile will be visible in this pool where potential clients looking for game localizers may contact you.
Obtaining specific training and qualifications in this area will also help you get immersed in the game localization industry. Not only will you have more certifications to better brand yourself, but you will have also gained a deeper understanding of how the game localization industry works.
Here you have some interesting courses you may want to take:
Indie game developers
There are many game developers out there and some of them are looking for someone to adapt their games to a target audience. Independent game developers don’t always have the budget to hire a translation company, so this is where you come in. If you are just starting, you can even do some volunteer work just to have some projects in your portfolio. Here are a few resources you can use to meet indie game developers:
/r/GameDev - mainstream subreddit for indie game localizers.
r/GameDevClassifieds - this is also a subreddit, but users post job offers here for freelancers.
IndieGameDevs - one of the main Facebook game developer groups.
IndieGamePromo - Facebook group for game developers, but oriented to promoting games, fundraises and services.
Also, don’t forget to check IndieGameLocalization, a Facebook group for game localizers where people often post localization jobs and help requests of different kinds.
Do you have any other tips to get started in as a game localizer? How did you get started? Let me know in the comments below!