A bot playing video games.
A bot playing video games.

The translation of video games is much in practice now. Translation and localization of video games are complex and challenging. The complications which come with video games don’t seem much clear apparently but once indulged, these get challenging. This task demands separate and specialized attention and a complete focus. 

It is not only a complex but also a technical task. Video game translation has to be carried out to internalize the game into a new region. Moreover, a few of the games have hard-coded text and fragments which get challenging for the translators to crack as these are limited to a certain length. Several languages when compared to English require more space to fit in.

The challenges which come with these are linguistic in nature. Also, the text which is in video games usually gets changed depending on the choice that players make. In order to navigate through this challenge the scripts of the content are written flexibly.

Other important challenges include following

The game translators who chip in the Video game translation services often experience the following challenges.

Cultural reference

Video games often share great references with culture. The target audience always expects the video game which is coming from another region to be according to their choices and perspectives and also culturally appropriate. Therefore, whether it is about orienting the player, making jokes, or any additional requirements in the game, all these points should be according to the cultural value of the target audience. 

The translators should pay special attention to the cultural appropriateness of targeted people. This is why it is suggested to pick native speakers as translators. It not only helps with language understanding but also makes it easy to translate the content according to the social norms of the target market. Capturing the original game’s spirit with the incorporation of local cultural references is quite tough to balance and hence maintaining it can either make or break the game’s reputation in a foreign land. 

Multimedia elements

The text is always there in video games in the form of dialogues, dialog boxes and to improve the environment in order to make players comfortable with each other. The main examples include advertisements, artwork, graffiti, and in-game text such as signposts. Moreover, the conversation and soundtracks can help the players to set an environment and give an impact and sense of place. 

These limitations related to multimedia, and audio, video files make it challenging for the translators to sail through. The UI and UX files also get messy with the limitations provided. Therefore, the localization experts determine the elements that can be eliminated and the factors that are important to implement with the precise text given technical limitations. The translation services company hired has to consider all these factors.

Larger than-life scope

The translation and localization of video games are not only challenging due to the dialog box translation or the name of the characters, equipment, weapons, and locations. It rather also asks for questions and their descriptions and UI elements. Other than the inside content of the video games, it requires a larger-than-life perspective to address the concerns about the video game and its translation. 

The translators often get stuck with the content which needs translation out of the game such as marketing content, its inserts, and the guidelines. As all these should be made accessible in the translation services. Once these are taken together translating all this content as part of a single file gets challenging. So, this massive scope of video games and their translations has also emerged as the biggest constraint of recent times.

Linguistic constraints

There are scripts that are written to meet the textual need of a video game. These scripts are in interchangeable fragments and are not used in the continuous narrative. This practice tells further that translators should try working with less contextual information more often. For instance, if one sentence has to be translated from English into the Chinese language, the given space could be far less than required. 

Moreover, the Chinese language has different characters and grammar patterns. Also, fitting the text inside the box could be a real struggle. Besides the translation of video game content, the makers might have to hire different translators for Chinese translation services. So, translators have to be vigilant and careful about providing context, ambiguous fragments, and other issues which appear more often.

All these constraints make translation tough and technical. The language vendor who is providing professional translation services though has to make sure that the video game translators prioritize the translation. The developers also need to be mindful of the fact that they have to develop the video games making them flexible for the future translation and localization process.


Translating video game content is a challenging and highly technical process. The translators who translate the video game content have to be trained with relevant experience and should also make sure that they understand the challenges which are part of the deal. The main challenges include cultural appropriateness, the massive scope, and the translation of multimedia elements.