Mobile game translation is one of the most in-demand language services in the gaming industry. As the industry’s fastest-growing segment, we are seeing more and more headlines like this: Activision Blizzard generating more revenue from mobile games than PC and consoles combined in Q2 2022.
This is no exception either, as it is increasingly becoming the rule for developers that release across the three major formats. To maximise revenue, developers have to address the unique needs of gamers on each format, which requires a mobile game translation strategy that caters to gamers on the move.
The mobile gaming market is unique from other niches in the industry – it has more gamers, it makes more money and it is the fastest-growing gaming segment. This brings unique opportunities for developers that take mobile game translation and localisation seriously.
Here are the top seven benefits of mobile game translation services:
- Global reach: Mobile gaming is truly global through platforms like Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
- Revenue: Only one of the top 13 mobile gaming markets is native English-speaking (i.e. the US).
- Engagement: Translated video games enhance engagement for foreign language speakers.
- Brand power: By providing quality translated experiences for foreign language gamers, you can build a strong reputation in their market.
- Online reputation: The modern gaming market is largely driven by online reviews, influencers and online reputations – all of which can be shaped by providing quality gaming experiences.
- Reviews: These quality experiences will generate positive reviews on app stores, which increases downloads further.
- Cumulative gains: The more people download your game, the more revenue, reviews and online buzz you will generate. This in turn drives yet more downloads, revenue, reviews, etc.
While the United States is the world’s biggest mobile gaming market, China, Japan and South Korea are the key markets in the APAC region, where growth is forecast to outperform Europe and the US over the next four years.
In fact, the APAC region alone is expected to drive 47% of all mobile gaming growth during this period with China, Japan and South Korea leading the way while other major growth markets include India, Brazil and Russia.
Even more so than PC and console gaming, translation and localisation are essential for developers that want to capitalise on mobile gaming’s promising future.
In this part, we are discussing the key benefits of mobile game translation services, focusing on market growth as a business opportunity for developers. To reinforce the importance of translation and localisation for mobile game developers, it is important to look at some of the most important market trends.
In the previous section, we listed increased revenue as a key benefit of mobile game translation on the basis that only one of the top 13 mobile gaming markets is native English-speaking.
This is based on insights from Data.ai (courtesy of YouAppi) for the top markets by mobile game downloads for 2021.
As you can see, India is by far the biggest market in terms of downloads with the US, Brazil, Indonesia and Russia rounding out the top five. The next native English-speaking market is the United Kingdom, which sits in 14th place for downloads.
However, we also have to look at the top markets by revenue to assess key market opportunities.
Here, we can see the US leads the global market in terms of revenue by quite a distance, with the United Kingdom jumping to seventh, closely followed by Canada with a sizable English-speaking population.
So, the English-speaking market is still the most valuable, but it is starting to fall behind the trio of Japan, China and South Korea that is expected to drive the majority of growth in the mobile gaming market over the next four years.
If we are talking purely in terms of revenue, mobile game developers need to support a minimum of four languages to capitalise on mid-term growth potential: English, Japanese, Chinese Mandarin and Korean.
What is particularly interesting about the top revenue markets for mobile gaming is that two relatively small languages in terms of native speakers (Japanese and Korean) present bigger opportunities than some of the world’s most widely spoken languages, namely French and Spanish.
If you want to take your mobile game translation strategy to the next level, get in touch with our Jackpot Translation team by calling us on +44 (0)20 7324 0950 or filling out the form on our contact page.