Game Localization Round Table - Electronic Arts, Goodgame Studios

Track: Preconference | P02 |
Full-day Program - MORNING SESSION, Special Registration Requirement
Wednesday, June 3, 2015, 9:00am – 12:30pm
Held in: Salon 16-17 Riga
Cristina Anselmi - Electronic Arts 
William Barnes - Blizzard Entertainment 
Angelina Bayer - Goodgame Studios 
Daniel Finck - Loquatics 
Arthur Flew - Blizzard Entertainment 
Clara Gómez Pérez - Goodgame Studios 
Jasmin Jelača - Nordeus 
Nadège Josa - Sony Computer Entertainment Europe 
Shane McCarthy - Electronic Arts 
Dave Ruane - Lion People Global
Moderator: Miguel Bernal-Merino

This full-day round table consists of several distinct sessions presented by experts in game localization and is open to clients (game developers and game publishers) and to qualifying vendors (game localization specialists). We aim to provide the best possible venue to enable a fruitful and balanced debate. To this end, we will do our best to maintain a balanced group of participants. The day will end with an open discussion based on information and questions from the day’s presentations.

Space for this session is limited. Please contact us to obtain the admission code necessary for registration.


8.00-9.00: Registration and Coffee

9.00-9.15: Welcome and Introductions

9.15-10.00: L10n KPIs — Mission (Im)possible?

Presenters: Angelina Bayer (Goodgame Studios), Clara Gómez Pérez (Goodgame Studios)

Synopsis: “Data beats opinion” — if you’ve ever tried to convince your company to spend resources on a project, you will know that figures have an unmatched leverage. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a popular and reliable way of measuring a company’s performance in many areas. With the help of metrics, we can devote our time and budget to the right activities, refine our processes and produce top-quality results. But to what extent can metrics be used to measure something as particular and hard to define as the success of localization? In response to this question, we have developed localization KPIs, based on a set of clearly identified localization objectives. These custom metrics cover the efficiency of our processes and workflows, as well as the success of localization quality assurance. We will present how we developed these KPIs, and talk about the issues we encountered when defining them. The presentation also includes an analysis of the data we have collected and how these findings can be used to improve the localization maturity of your company. Lastly, we will assess how the chosen metrics can help reach localization objectives.

10.00-10.45: Localize Globally — The Top Eleven Way

Presenter: Jasmin Jelača (Nordeus)

Synopsis: This session about why and how to localize games in so many languages (42 currently). What is the return on investment and what are the challenges? How to maintain the quality and what are the processes around this to make it as efficient as possible for everybody involved? How to build and maintain a big community of translators and make localization testers out of them? And probably the biggest question of them all: How to make sure that the communication with the developers is at a high level? All this will be covered from the perspective of Top Eleven, the most popular online sports game.

10.45-11.00: Break

11.00-11.45: The Business Effects of Localization in the Video Games Industry

Presenter: Elle Kajiwara-Airey (Silicon Studio)

Synopsis: The impact of localization for the business side of the games industry in often overlooked. How the quality of localization can reflect on the sales and reputation of a game or the game company itself will be addressed. The difference between planning localization into the game production from the start and just localizing a game as an afterthought has major implication on costs. Planning localization can greatly reduce the costs while making sure the quality is good. Also the concept of keeping costs down with cheap localization and how this will usually be more costly for game companies.

11.45-12.30: Mobile Games Localization: Challenge Accepted

Presenter: Cristina Anselmi (Aeria Games), Daniel Finck (Aeria Games)

Synopsis: Without a doubt, the booming mobile games sector is enjoying the biggest growth in the gaming industry at the moment. And of course, big numbers, high expectations and tight deadlines subsequently result in big challenges for localization. At Aeria Games, a free2play publisher that originally published mainly MMORPG-style games, the increase of mobile titles required the in-house localization team to rethink workflows from the ground up. In the process, new project and language management systems that would support a rapid-release frequency allow for economic resource allocation and maintain flexibility for the dynamic content typical for free2play had to be determined. In this presentation we will highlight some of the milestones made at Aeria Localization during this ongoing realignment, which is also majorly shaped by working exclusively with external development partners.

12.30-14.00: Lunch

14.00-14.45: Language Planning in a Global Games Market

Presenters: Dave Ruane (VistaTEC), Shane McCarthy (Electronic Arts)

Synopsis: In today’s games market, making the right decision about localized languages is key to enhancing your company’s brand and maximizing the profitability and monetization potential of titles in the global market. Being able to successfully predict the performance of your title in local markets requires the right data analytics and approach. How do successful game companies approach language and global scale and what can you learn? Some of the questions game developers need to ask themselves include:

1) Should our home (source country) market strategy dictate your global strategy?

2) Are our global market decisions tied to legacy product, organizational or strategic decisions?

3) What do good return on investment arguments for going global look like?

4) How do we adapt to the varied legal requirements to reach local markets? Such as The Toubon Law in France, Violence, Alcohol, Gambling.

5) What are our competitors doing?

6) How are we future proofing for new markets, genres and platforms?

We’ll present answers to these and other questions with real-world examples. We will also invite round table members to contribute. The goal is to share and inform on sensible real-world go-to-market strategies that can be applied across game genres and platforms.

14.45-15.30: Until Dawn: Enhanced Localization

Presenter: Nadège Josa (SCEE)

Synopsis: What happens when a high profile title requires localization input over a two-year period? How can timelines change the approach on well-oiled localization processes? As games organically evolve during their life cycle and scripts get revisited, how can localization adapt to control scope change and minimize costs? Taking (calculated) risks, we’ll share what benefits were gained from organizing one single recording session and one single pick-up session at optimal times. Localizing a horror game targeted at young adults (18+) whilst observing tight audio constraint requires ingenuity. We’ll look at what initiatives were taken to create an upbeat script and audio. Finally, as an advocate of working collaboratively, using Sony’s Localisation Asset Management System and DevTrack differently proved a great asset in bringing localization stakeholders together.

15.30-16.00: Break

16.00-16.45: The Benefits of Starting Localization Early

Presenters: William Barnes (Blizzard Entertainment), Arthur Flew (Blizzard Entertainment)

Synopsis: In an effort to curb some of the common issues one might experience with localization, Blizzard has taken a new approach in recent years by laying the groundwork for localization much earlier in their projects’ schedules. In this presentation we’ll be going over the various changes Blizzard has implemented to help facilitate the localization of their games and the benefits they’ve seen as a result.