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How WLS Leverages Game Localization to Attract Players Around the World

One of the 10 largest mobile gaming companies in the world, Wildlife Studios has published over 60 games, with more than 3 billion downloads worldwide. Founded in Brazil in 2011, the studio’s reach now extends to 9 countries, including the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Israel, and Ireland, with over 700 employees constantly working to revolutionize the mobile gaming landscape. 

To ensure that more players have the best possible gaming experience, Wildlife Studios has partnered with Alconost to localize their games into an average of 12 languages. This partnership has given the company access to cutting-edge language technology and translation expertise backed by 18 years of experience in the industry, bringing continuous localization to 6 games in their massive portfolio: Zooba, Tennis Clash, Suspects, Sniper 3D, War Machines, and Sky Warriors.

Key localization challenges

Embracing the unique tone of voice for each game

In working on Wildlife Studios projects, the translation team gets to localize a variety of mobile games — each unlike the next, with a unique cast of characters and diverse target audiences. This means that not only do the players speak different languages, but also the translators need to adapt the tone of voice to the style and vibe of each game. 

 

For a dynamic, humorous game like Zooba our translators use a fun, upbeat tone of voice, while War Machines demands more formal, authoritative, matter-of-fact language. Wildlife Studios gives the translators permission to make changes to the text based on the tone of voice, and this freedom also helps our translators vividly convey the mood of the characters across different languages. 

A few of the languages we cover are French, German, Italian, Korean, Russian, Turkish, Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish (Mexico), and Arabic. Based on player needs within the games, if a game becomes particularly popular in a country outside the designated region, the game team considers localizing the content into that country’s language, too. For example, WIldlife Studios has translated War Machines into Ukrainian and has implemented localization into Romanian for Zooba.

 

Leveraging professional localization tools 

In addition to experienced native-speaking translators, here’s what has helped Alconost streamline a continuous localization workflow for each of WIldlife Studios’ projects: 

  • Crowdin professional localization software, which facilitates automation and transparent two-way communication between the game team and the translators; 
  • A localization manager as the main point of contact, who is dedicated to delivering a positive localization experience;
  • An effective briefing system that ensures that the translation team has all the requisite information, such as the game genre, plot description, age rating, competitors, deadlines, screenshots and description of key characters and items, and any other essential details that may affect the translation.

The Crowdin toolkit supports ongoing communication between the localization team and the game team. Team members can report issues in the Comments tab by selecting the “Issue” checkbox. Here’s when this tool comes into play:

  • Developers or managers have a general question, or wish to request corrections to existing translations;
  • Translators need additional context or wish to highlight a mistake in the source string.

Strings with unresolved issues are conveniently highlighted with an icon:

 

Source: Crowdin Knowledge Base https://support.crowdin.com/online-editor/

"Crowdin facilitates all of our automations, with support for task creation and management (and we have a lot of tasks to manage!). Whenever we had questions and reached out to Support they were simply amazing and responded quickly. So we love Crowdin!"

— Suellen Silva, Lead Project Coordinator at Wildlife Studios

By taking advantage of the transparent reporting system, the teams quickly resolve issues that arise. For urgent issues we created a Slack channel for the project manager and the game team, where they can instantly reach each other whenever time-sensitive questions arise. 

Accelerating time-sensitive projects 

For 18 years we’ve been improving our continuous localization workflow for frequently updated projects. For clients coming from dynamic industries we’ve found ways to accelerate the translation process. In working with Wildlife Studios, Alconost has performed numerous next-day translations for six ongoing localization projects, each with significant stylistic differences between in-game source strings, FAQs, and BOTs. 

For example, when an issue in a game’s operation arises (such as a functional bug), a maintenance report is generated. Initially it is published in English. But since it’s important for the client to make the updated information instantly accessible to players from all locales, our team provides next-day translation of this content into 12 other languages. 

Across social media channels (such as Instagram, Facebook, Discord), Wildlife Studios has language-specific rooms where players can connect with each other. When there’s a game-wide or locale-specific announcement for the community that needs to be posted on social media ASAP, Alconost jumps on the task and meets the tight deadline. 

 

Whenever there’s a high-priority, time-sensitive task, Alconost leverages their team of primary translators and back-up translators who already know the project like the back of their hand, and a dedicated project manager who sets up the schedule, manages deadlines, and leaves additional detailed instructions for each task.

How values of diversity, equality, and inclusiveness define Wildlife Studios’ localization strategy — and how Alconost helps bring it to life 

As a multicultural company, WIldlife Studios is aware of sensitive topics surrounding certain languages and cultures, and accordingly they truly build their products around player diversity. For example, Zooba’s character Elaine the Black Panther was based on a member of the Black community: when creating the character, every step of the process was vetted by the Black community at WIldlife Studios to ensure cultural sensitivity. 

The studio works hard to ensure that their global players not only have equal access to information, whatever language they speak, but also equally enjoy their experience playing the game. Since the studio aims to build game universes that are accessible, culturally representative, and inclusive, seasonal events like the Carnival of Brazil, Chinese New Year, or Halloween are not only available within local language versions, but are accessible to the global audience as well. Our translation team delivers local and international seasonal updates in over 10 languages for each project so that players have the opportunity to connect with other cultures and their local festivities. 

Wildlife Studios has a Trust and Safety Team that oversees cultural issues and gathers player feedback. For the localization team, this means that if a player sends a report to the Trust and Safety team regarding a translation issue, the studio reaches out to Alconost. We perform game localization testing and eliminate linguistic and cultural missteps. 

 

Final Words

We’d like to thank Wildlife Studios for sharing their experience and collaborating on this article. It’s always a pleasure for our team to work on WIldlife Studios’ projects, and we look forward to watching their new games win the hearts of global audiences. 

“We love working with Alconost! Our main point of contact is localization manager Nadzeya, who is always friendly and accessible whenever we have issues. The translation is of high quality, and the communication is transparent. It’s easy to create and manage translation tasks via Crowdin. Alconost is one of the best translation companies we’ve ever worked with. We’re quite happy. :-)”

— Suellen Silva, Lead Project Coordinator at Wildlife Studios

Here at Alconost we love localizing games! Our clients come from enthusiastic, casual environments and show up with captivating and dynamic projects. By working together we help people all over the world have fun in their own language. Let’s localize your game — request a quote for your project!