Going Global with Localization

I have been doing a fair amount of travelling recently, and wherever I go, I still see people playing games on their phone in the typical spots – on the train, in line for coffee, and so on. This got me thinking about localization strategies, and how important they are for mobile games to reach a global scale.

At a minimum, developers should make sure their App Store data — name, keywords, screenshots, and descriptions — are all written in the local language for the big 5: English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish (EFIGS). Even better is when strings in the game are also translated properly – which is a larger development consideration that can pay dividends for global engagement as well as at the first party level (Apple loves when games are localized).

The largest investment for localization comes in the form of localizing game mechanics and art styles. When publishing a popular westernized game in Asian countries, we even see developers adding more gacha mechanics, as well as creating new game assets to appeal to different tastes in those regions.
Depending on your budget and go-to-market strategy, localization can take many forms but can be the factor that takes a strong game to a global phenomenon.

Have a great week,

Compulsion Loop
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Nonstop Knight

flare games

Why Play? A cutesy endless runner meets Gauntlet Legends, Nonstop Knight is a fun little single player game where the user controls the abilities of an auto-running knight.  Players will destroy various enemies and bosses while collecting coins to collect and upgrade weapons and powers.

Google Play App Store
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Defend the Planet

Argo Studio

Why Play? Most one-touch games have typically been 2D graphics, but Defend the Planet breaks that mold. A simple but addictive game, Defend the Planet pits you against yourself in an arcade game about protecting the world from asteroids and other space invaders. Localized in 8 languages!

Google Play App Store
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Human Resource Machine

Experimental Gameplay Group

Why Play? Originally on PC, this port is a clever, programming puzzle game that uses math and coding to solve challenging puzzles. The wrapper is a theme that encourages you to think about the day-by-day drudgery of a 9-5 job. Entertaining, tricky, and a lot of fun.

App Store
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Transformers: Earth Wars

Backflip Studios

Why Play? This Clash of Clans-like base builder is worth playing for its beautiful polish, familiar Transformers characters and nostalgia, along with some innovations on the freemium formula that deserve a peek.

Google Play App Store
Compulsion Loop

CompulsionLoop is AC+A’s (adriancrook.com) weekly pursuit of providing a Featured List for those in the games industry. A look at the latest must-play apps, along with short, useful takeaways from our team of game design and product experts. If you have a game that you think your industry colleagues should try, we’d love to hear about it at games@compulsionloop.com. Don’t forget to tell us why industry insiders should be compelled to try out the game (see what we did there?).

Know a game that you think others should play? Let us know and tell us why we should play it.

Thank you for reading and we look forward to helping you discover more games that you can glean learnings from. Feel free to reply to this email or contact games@compulsionloop.com — we’re always happy to hear from you.

Have a great week!

- Adrian Crook www.adriancrook.com