Software Localization vs. Game Localization

Game localization combines elements of software localization as well as audiovisual translation. Today, the majority of best-seller games feature intricate translation elements including: complex storylines, multiple game play features, 3D graphics, and human voices for in-game dialogue.

To really understand the differences between the two forms of localization, it is easiest to look at the purpose of a game and software product. The main purpose of a game is to entertain and the key to entertaining often relies upon creativity and innovation. Whereas business software is generally characterized by practicality and efficiency for the end user. This aspect of software localization is further characterized by standardized localization practices. These standardized processes are not always transferable to the game industry, because games vary so much in their genre and function that the localization approach is often adapted in order to retain the game’s unique characteristics and playing format.

Game localization and software localization also share some common elements. Both processes must combine language translation with software, and are forced to deal with space limitations. Furthermore, game localization and software localization share similar processes and both enter internationalization phases and QA phases before a final product is released. Lastly, the concept of simultaneous shipment (Simship) is also a commonality for both forms of localization. Simultaneous shipment is a preferred process where the English version of the product is released in unison with the other localized products.


A professional Search Engine Optimization Consultant with over 7 years experience in Organic SEO. Mr. Elkayam has founded S.E.O. Advanced in 2005 and has helped clients all over the world achieve higher search engine rankings and increased online sales. S.E.O. Advanced is specializing in Multilingual SEO offering Search Engine Optimization Services in over 40 languages.

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