Current trends in localizing video games into Arabic: localization levels and gamers’ preferences

Mohammed Al-Batineh, Razan Alawneh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The present paper investigates a largely ignored topic in Arabic translation studies: video game localization. It attempts to establish scholarly discussion about this field by analyzing the current localization practices used in the Arabic video game market and Arab gamers’ response to localized video games. To this end, the paper analyzes officially localized Arabic video games from 2005-2020 to reveal common practices adopted by developers when localizing games into Arabic. The paper also surveys Arab gamers regarding their preferences related to these practices. The analysis of the localized video games has revealed several localization practices that go beyond what has been discussed in the literature by video game localization scholars. The results of the survey have revealed that the majority of Arab gamers prefer ‘partially localized’ games, which do not include Arabic dubbed or re-voiced audio or cutscenes, over ‘fully localized games,’ which include re-voiced audio and cutscenes in the target language. The paper concludes by proposing a new set of ‘localization levels’ based on the analyzed data and survey responses about Arab gamers’ localization preferences. Ultimately, the paper seeks to bridge the gap between video game developers and Arab gamers and, hopefully, serve as a springboard for future video game localization projects in the Arabic context.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)323-342
    Number of pages20
    JournalPerspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice
    Volume30
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Keywords

    • Arabic video game localization
    • localization levels
    • video game assets
    • Video game localization
    • video game reception

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cultural Studies
    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language
    • Literature and Literary Theory

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