We Have Localized a Plenty of Games for Russia: Story by Denis Khamin from Allcorrect
Denis Khamin is Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Allcorrect, a company engaged in game and app localization based on ROI. Allcorrect searches for profitable markets aimed at developers and publishers as well as adapts games for the target audience taking into account countries’ cultural aspects.
We talked to Denis about the beginning of his career and the idea of adapting games for cultural and social aspects of the country.
“Initially, We Just Called Clients Across the Phone Book”
My partner, Demid Tishin, and I founded Allcorrect in 2006. After a while, we allocated responsibilities as follows: Demid was in charge of manufacturing and administrative matters, while I focused on sales and marketing. Thus, I gradually started dealing with gaming sales.
“Almost All of Our Services Resulted from Customers’ Requests”
Initially, we just called clients across the phone book, failing to succeed. Some time later, we opened the sales department requiring management, thus we came up with the plan (its implementation increased sales of new clients approximately seven times) and KPI. The next steps included CRM, guides, scripts, bar charts, and training of new sales managers.
Besides, we integrated a labor motivation system (following the approach of Vladimir Gerchikov). In the context of processes, we are shifting to a CRM strategy, adopting CJM for three segments of our customers, as well as desiring to prepare end-to-end analytics and adjust content marketing for the foreign audience.
“Game Adaptation for a Country Depends on Your Content”
Almost all of our services resulted from customers’ requests, just as the idea of adapting games for cultural and social aspects of countries. We were asked to tell about culturalization and options that could be used for in-game events. We prepared a brief guide to countries of clients’ interest and then started collecting information about other regions, in particular with the support of our translators. We were going to accumulate experience in order to offer it to consumers.
“We Have Localized a Plenty of Games for Russia”
Game adaptation for a country depends on your content. Various countries have their own taboos: if your game kills cows, it can draw the indignation of the Indians; skeletons should be avoided in the Chinese environment; religious bans should be taken into account in the Muslim world; Russia prohibits the promotion of homosexuality, alcohol, tobacco smoking.
If your game does not have such sentimental points, it is considered to be appropriate to these countries. We can give a more precise answer to this question after the game cultural audit.
We have localized a plenty of games for Russia, but I would like to mention one of the recent examples. We translated South Park: Phone Destroyerby Ubisoft into Russian (it is difficult to determine the country, as the company is French, the game development studio is located in Finland, while the game is based on the US cartoon). Primarily, the age limit was 12+, but the game provided such jokes as “Are you f*cking kidding me, New Kid?”, “Then U can prove to the world ur the best. Unless ur scared like a little b*tch”, and serials’ general atmosphere was rendered in the game.
“We Had To Find Numerous References to Modern Culture”
On the other hand, the lead character – Cartman – is anti-Semite. Words like ‘Jew’ was prohibited in translation. One more challenge: the Russian audience knows the cartoon in several translations differing from each other, for instance, in characters’ names.
We had to find numerous references to modern culture, particularly to American realities, adapt them to Russian users, and offer a variety of names. We managed to mitigate some jokes without losing humor and increase the age restrictions up to 16+ after negotiations.
“We Are Interested in Sharing of Best Practices with Professionals”
Russia did not have a professional conference aimed at localizers. Therefore, we decided to organize LocKit in 2013. We are interested in sharing of best practices with professionals and improving the general level of localizers: that’s why we hold the conference.
I will tell RGW gusts about cultural case studies of diversified games and our experience in adapting mobile social casinos for various countries. hope your audience will find this issue interesting and obtain new ideas for their games.
Russian Gaming Week 2019, Denis Khamin will make a presentation: Culture features of game launch and localization on new markets. The event will take place in Moscow on June 6-7.