The Russian language has entered the top five most popular for localization of games

LocalizeDirect has analyzed the game localization market. Her new report lists the most popular languages in the industry for 2020. Spoiler: Russian is one of the most popular.

The full report of the company can be read here. The most important theses from it are below:

1. The top 10 most popular languages for localization have arrived. The rating is based on a survey of game developers. The Russian language entered the top five most popular, being in fourth place.

The survey compilers asked respondents to choose from 48 languages. And it turned out that 80% of the volume of the entire translated text falls on the top ten.

2. There are fewer and fewer requests to translate games into FIGS languages. These are French, Italian, German and Spanish. In LocalizeDirect, the problem is associated with a decrease in demand primarily for Italian and European Spanish.

Previously, the above four languages accounted for up to 45% of the volume of translated text. Now it is 37%.

3. Simplified Chinese is also becoming less popular, its share of text has fallen from 9% to 6%. This is due to delays in issuing licenses to games in China. Recall that the process became more complicated after the 2018 licensing freeze.

4. There is an increase in demand for the Polish language. In recent years, more and more game studios have been opening in the Witcher’s homeland. The audience is also growing. Therefore, this year the Polish language entered the top 10 most popular for the first time. It is also one of the four fastest growing languages (after Thai, but before Korean and Japanese).

5. Separately, LocalizeDirect mentioned several new trends:

  • more and more studios are localizing non-English-language games, taking their original language as a basis. Previously, it was customary (especially among Chinese and Russian studios) to translate, for example, games from Japan, focusing on English localization;
  • Most European and North American studios prefer localization of French, Italian, German, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Russian;
  • developers of MOBA and social casinos are increasingly interested in the Scandinavian group of languages, as well as the Dutch language.

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