The Arabic-speaking market for gaming is the fifth most popular language in the world with a large gaming community. However, the Arabic language presents unique linguistic, cultural, and technical challenges that must be addressed if you are to establish a lasting and real connection with your target area. Hence, the best way is to take assistance from Arabic translation services and get your video game localized for the market.
How should this be done and what are the key points to remember about Arabic Game Localization. You can read all about it in this article. So let’s start.
The Arabic Gaming Market
There are 22 countries that claim Arabic as their official language. The most lucrative in terms of gaming revenue are Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The MENA Region, which encompasses 18 countries in North Africa and the Middle East, is dominated by Arabic-speaking countries. This region also speaks Farsi, Urdu, and Turkish.
We will also show you how Arabic is a lucrative market in terms of game revenue.
Key Takeaways From The Arab Gaming Market
- Saudi Arabia can generate the most revenues among the Arabic-speaking countries. It is ranked 22nd in terms of global gaming revenue. 92 percent consider themselves gamers.
- The UAE is a major spender in the gaming sector, with the majority of the money going to games. Most of the money goes to developing mobile gaming applications and getting translation done from Video game translation services.
- Smartphone penetration has hit 46 percent in Saudi Arabia. This translates to 15.5 million people. This number is 80.6 percent in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Potential In The Arabic Video Gaming Market
Despite Arabic being the MENA region’s most spoken and fastest growing language, only 1% of local app store content is available in Arabic.
It may sound like a great chance to be among the best games in Arabic. There is more good news. To put it another way, N2V’s Chief Marketing Officer said:
“Arab Video Gaming has enabled the growth of the Internet in the region.”
Important Factors To Consider When Localizing Your Video Game
The Arabic language is one of the most complex languages in the world. Hence, one needs to be aware of certain factors before attempting to localize a video game for the region.
Let’s discuss some of them;
Languages: Spoken, Written, and Dialects
There are many linguistic idiosyncrasies in Arabic, including the use of gender specifics, which is similar to French. The most difficult linguistic aspects of Arabic are related to two things: the spoken language versus the formal written language and regional dialects.
Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is the best choice if you’re translating a medium that is neutral or professional. This is not the case for creative content, such as targeted marketing messaging or in-game dialogue.
This content requires high engagement and emotional connections with the audience. It is recommended that you hire a linguist or take help from a professional translation agency. They are familiar with the local dialects and have local connections in the area you are targeting.
The complexity of Arabic regional languages is due to the large number of languages that exist and the fact that they are often not mutually understandable. One text or marketing message will require more than one translation to reach the Arabic market. This is why it is possible to establish a personal connection for each region.
Religious and Cultural Sensitivities
Games are designed to be enjoyed with their immersive qualities, diverse characters, and beautiful landscapes. This is largely due to the proper application of cultural norms and values that are present in your target locale.
Happy Farm is an example. It has the largest active player base in Asia for its immensely popular Social Network game and multiplayer online game simulating farming management.
Happy Farm was also popular in Arabic-speaking countries due to the fact that the locally translated Arabic version took into account the local culture and didn’t include pigs since Muslims don’t raise them. This shows the incorporation of the cultural nuances and working within the restrictions of what the tradition grants.
RTL Languages and Video Game Localization
Arabic is written right-to-left (RTL), rather than the LTR format used in English. The main obstacles in this technically difficult situation are the visual translations of page layout and user interface.
Internet usage has led to an increase in active gamers. It is true that tools and technologies take a little longer to master the unique languages that are quickly becoming popular. It is up to the localization engineer or localization company to figure out how to overcome the limitations with custom coding.
Arabic Game localization is a great way to get your game into the fastest-growing online market. It is important to do it well so that your target audience can connect with your product. This includes linguistic, cultural, and technical considerations that must all be considered.
It is the responsibility of the video game publishers to employ only native professionals who are familiar with the gaming industry. Because an agency would only hire highly-trained linguists from the regions that their clients want to target.