German Game Localization: Adapting to the Heart of Europe

The next destination on our game market journey is Germany, the most populated country in the European Union. Germany, officially called the Federal Republic of Germany, has a population of 83 million people. It has been labeled as the strongest economy in Europe, and today we’ll be looking at one part of this strong economy: the game market and the importance of German game localization.

Players and Game Market in Germany

The COVID-19 pandemic affected so many sectors, and the game sector is one of them. Thankfully, it was not a negative effect. Since people were all staying at home, the only way to entertain themselves had to be at home. I’m sure you can see where I’m coming at: they played games, a lot of games. 

We can see the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Germany as well. Video games have been more popular than ever in the last couple of years. Almost 6 out of 10 Germans play a type of video game in the country. The average age of players is over 37 years old. Germany takes the lead in terms of gaming revenue in Europe, and it stands in the top 10 globally. In 2022, the game revenue (including hardware) amounted to 9.87 billion euros.

german game localization

What’s the Effect of German Game Localization?

Since English proficiency is quite high in Germany, currently ranked 10 out of 113 countries worldwide, developers might underestimate the transformative impact of German game localization. Well, they should prepare for a shock then… because German game localization changes the game, quite literally!

We always highlight that localization is not just mere translation; it involves crafting an experience that feels native and culturally relevant. So, even if German players can understand English perfectly, the game will not feel natural to them. Presenting the game in their native language ensures a more immersive and authentic connection. Language support will boost the revenue of the game and lead to a more connected global community.

In essence, German game localization is not just a linguistic accommodation; it’s a strategic move that enhances player engagement, satisfaction, and the overall success of the game in the German market.

Key Points to Consider for German Game Localization

As with every market, the German market has its own points to keep in mind during the game localization process. Let’s dive into these!

1- Length of German Words

German words are quite lengthy compared to their English equivalents. So, it would be wise to either come up with abbreviations that would be used throughout the project for consistency purposes or plan ahead and leave enough space for the localization process.

2- German Dialects

Oh, how easy everything would be if everybody spoke in the same way, right? Well, jokes aside, there are different dialects spoken in Germany. For example, in the Bavaria state of Germany, Bavarian is spoken and there are some discussions about whether it’s a dialect of German or a language on its own. But thankfully, most German speakers understand the so-called High German, because it is the language used in schools.

3- German Alphabet

Another technical aspect to keep in mind is the difference between the English alphabet and the German alphabet. The German alphabet includes three umlauted vowels – Ä, Ö, and Ü. Also, the letter “ß” (Eszett) represents a double “s” sound and is used in certain contexts instead of “ss.” Developers, game localization specialists, and QA specialists should be careful with these because they might lead to an error.

Ignoring German game localization just because of German players’ excellent command of English would not be a smart move. The effect of German game localization highlights its strategic importance in fostering an authentic connection with players. Successfully navigating the complexities of German game localization, developers cater to the unique preferences of German players and contribute to a more interconnected gaming community.

Written by
Ecenaz Batur
Marketing Specialist

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