China’s game market is one of the biggest and most lucrative markets in the world. The sales revenue from video games in China makes up about 1/4th of the international video game industry.
If you have the right product and a brilliant understanding of the Chinese market, your chances of success are tremendous. You become even more competitive when you employ a smart gaming translation and localization strategy in Chinese.
This is because users love playing games in their mother tongue. When your video game is translated and localized into the Chinese language, the whole gaming experience is uplifted.
However, translating a video game isn’t easy. It requires expert video game translation services to carry out the job. These professional translation services help make sure your new text and material resonate with the target audience.
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About the Chinese video game market
More than 650 million people in China play video games. This makes China home to the largest video game market in the world. In fact, gamers in China contribute to nearly 25% of the total gaming revenues in the world.
The growth of the overall gaming industry in China shows no signs of slowing down. According to studies, the market will reach 469.77 billion Yuan (about $72 billion) by the end of 2023.
If we look at the mobile game market in China, it has reached $29 billion. The year-on-year share has also continued to increase – it’s at over 18% now. Over 65% of gaming revenue comes through mobile.
People in China spend almost 30 minutes a day (on average) playing smartphone games. Since smartphone usage is high and the cloud infrastructure in China is also good, the market for smartphone and tablet games in China is very robust.
Every major game publisher & developer is either already present in the Chinese market or they are creating a strategy for expansion in China. An important piece of this expansion strategy is to select and partner with an experienced professional translation agency.
Top 3 challenges for video game translation in Chinese
Want to invade the lucrative Chinese video game market? Pay extra attention to the following points. By implementing a localization strategy that addresses these points, you can uplift your game downloads in tough markets like China.
Language and dialect variations
One of the main challenges in Chinese gaming translation is the number of variations and dialects in the Chinese language. For instance, the language has multiple written variants. And when it comes to speaking, the Chinese language has around several hundred dialects.
Talking about dialects, Chinese dialects are different from what people in various Western countries might anticipate. For example, English has around 160 dialects. However, if you can speak one dialect, you may be able to understand people uttering words in a different dialect.
But this is not the case with the Chinese language. If two people speak different dialects of Chinese, they might be unable to communicate with each other.
The largest dialect group in Chinese is Mandarin. It’s the official dialect in the country. Another popular dialect is Cantonese with minor differences across different regions. The same is the case with written Chinese. Based on the Chinese language variant, the characters look different. Simplified Chinese is widely popular in Mainland China while Traditional Chinese is more prevalent in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The culture in China
When entering a foreign market, it is vital to adapt your content to fit the local culture. Otherwise, your game translation and localization effort won’t be successful.
So, if you’re launching your game in the Chinese market, make sure it’s culturally sensitive. This entails the translation of all the game content as well as the related websites, community platforms, and forums.
Make sure you provide your users with a seamless and consistent user experience across every touchpoint. Even if it requires hiring gaming translation and website Localization services independently for your project.
For this, only rely on native Chinese translators with 3-5 years of experience in the gaming industry. They will truly localize a game so that storyline, conversations, and all other things are completely in line with the cultural preferences of your target audience.
Government approval process
China’s government has strict control over the video game industry. Any new game release has to complete a government approval process to ensure that its content aligns with the rules and regulations of the country. If the government censors find any game and its content detrimental to the military, politics, or overall image of the country, they banned it.
As a result, it’s crucial to make your games acceptable to the government if you want to introduce them in China. Be careful that your game doesn’t contain any sexual themes, gambling, images of blood, or drugs. All such stuff is banned in China.