Sam Mullen, localization producer at Sega, recently had a panel at Momocon (a fan convention in Atlanta), where he talked about Japanese to English game localization. The presentation starts from the perspective of a fictional company that wants to release an (also fictional) game. From there, Sam starts by looking at the various roles that are typically found in a localization team, and the tasks assigned to them. Then, the presentation moves on to the more technical aspect of the localization, such as the amount of text that needs to be translated, voice over work that needs to be done and possible changes that need to be made to the game’s content. Next is the commercial aspect to the game, which talks about things like limited editions. Finally, Sam looks at the reception the game might get from the consumers once it’s released. Fittingly, the possible outcomes are grouped in a “Bad End”, “Good End” and “True End”.
If you ever wondered why Sega doesn’t “just localize” a certain game, you really should take a look at this video. It’s the most comprehensive look at video game localization I’ve seen yet, and it really shows that game localization sometimes just isn’t as easy as it might seem. You can watch the Twitch video of the presentation below.
Thanks to SuperSonicEX for pointing out the presentation was posted on Twitch.