The localization of video game updates and expansions can be very important, especially when the base game has been translated in different languages. It is in fact good practice for the developer or publisher to offer each community of any language and culture a well-rounded gaming experience. And this is possible by allowing each player who played and loved the base game to keep enjoying it.
The sale of updates, expansions, DLCs and extra content also represents a good source of profit for devs and publishers. Therefore, curating the localization of such contents in many cases can result in an economic advantage.
However, the main goal of localization should always be the desire to enrich one’s gaming experience as much as possible.
There are various aspects influencing the choice to adapt extra content, such as user engagement, competitiveness, player feedback, video game type and cost-benefit analysis.
The localization of updates and expansions helps maintain and even increase user engagement. Users are in fact more prone to invest their time and money in a game if they feel like the developers actively support and engage with their community.
In the highly competitive video game industry, providing extra content in various languages constitutes an advantage over competitors. Players will most likely prefer a game that offers updates and expansions in their own language over another that doesn’t.
Paying attention to the specific requests of gaming communities is crucial. If the user base from a certain region playing the base game is very large, it’s a given that there’ll be strong demand for an adaptation of updates and expansions in that language.
Video game type
The localization of extra content becomes more relevant with some types of games, especially narration-dense ones where the story plays a huge role. Instead, a puzzle game or an arcade game won’t probably need extensive localization.
In general, a narration and text-heavy game with a strong and varied fanbase demands for all of its side content to be translated.
In conclusion, the decision to adapt updates and expansions has to be taken following an accurate cost-benefit analysis. Localization is a potentially costly process, and the investment that’s necessary depends on various factors. Thus, it’s important to take into account if it will actually lead to a return on the investment.