It's little wonder that video game usage has skyrocketed since the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), video games are providing an important solution for millions of people across several countries during this global health crisis. The loneliness of isolation and the oppressive boredom can overwhelm normally active people who are now stuck at home. As a result, it is now more important than ever to make video game products accessible for gamers in as many foreign markets as possible through video game localization.
Gaming growth surge during the global coronavirus pandemic
There has been an unusual market spike in gaming industry growth numbers since the onset of the pandemic and the implementation of the quarantine worldwide. Seasoned gamers and novices alike are being forced to stay at home for months and the emerging data indicates that gaming has become the preferred activity for helping people stay engaged, challenged and entertained during the their time at home (and which experts say the world is likely to face again from the fall of 2020 through to spring of 2021).
Gaming has been among the world's most popular leisure activities for many years prior to the current outbreak. One of the most remarkable benefits of gaming is that it connects people in remote locations. That kind of connection is invaluable for the entire global society during this difficult time. Video gaming is helping people cope cognitively, psychologically and emotionally with isolation, and is encouraging them to stay home in cooperation with regulations that are crucial to reducing the spread of the virus. Naturally, mental and emotional benefits also translate into physical health benefits.
For some perspective on the role of gaming during quarantine, Verizon's gaming division realized a 75% data usage increase throughout March 2020 in the United States. Reportedly, Microsoft has also seen increased usage in their Xbox consoles to the point that the company had to take some measures to maintain smooth operations of their gaming services. Gaming-related apps and news outlets are also reporting increased use over the past weeks of the global quarantine.
However, while massive numbers of people are turning to gaming right now, many games remain inaccessible to the global gaming market because of language and cultural barriers. Right now it is especially important for game developers to consider localizing their video games in order to serve prospective users in international target markets and languages.
How game developers and sellers can help
For game makers who want to contribute to the global solution for minimizing further spread of the COVID-19 virus through a maximally successful global quarantine, this is the time to make your game product available to your currently under-served international markets. To increase access to your game product means appropriately localizing your video game as well as its peripheral marketing, packaging, customer service and/or other support content.
The gaming industry is now in a unique position of being equipped to 1) be instrumental in reinforcing positive population behavior (making continued good practice of isolation more tolerable), and 2) provide healthy, mentally stimulating, creative activity during the pandemic for vast numbers of people throughout the world.
Critical social benefits of gaming during coronavirus quarantine
Once a typically solitary activity, modern gaming today serves as an extraordinarily popular place for players to hang around together in virtual social space. Additionally, the gaming community has provided an important social resource for gamers even while they're not playing, as they become introduced through acquaintances made during gaming with other online players.
These days, living in isolation means people are now in extreme need of a means to maintain connections with other people, ideally with those who share their interests. Video games are an ideal resource for helping fulfill this kind of requisite. Gaming is estimated to be providing the average user more than six hours daily of healthy mental activity as well as an essential social outlet. As a result, psychologists are crediting games with providing a great relief to people worldwide who are closed off from friends and their usual social activities.
As can be seen, video games are not just a welcome distraction for isolated people trying to cope with the constraints of the pandemic. Gaming is generating social opportunities that allow people to engage with one another while staying safe during this period. They stay connected with friends and acquaintances in virtual spaces and participate in communities.
Gaming during and beyond the pandemic
As one of the world's most popular pastimes, gaming has proven to be deeply beneficial in serving an array of important needs for users. Gaming engages and challenges the mind, builds digital user skills, entertains and generates social engagement opportunities. Currently, gaming has become a recognized source for activity that helps people cope under quarantine and maintain a more stable, contented and positive attitude. With all the mandated business closures and social distancing, people need online ways to satisfy the inherent human needs for these kinds of interactions.
Once an optional pastime, gaming has now become an integral resource that game makers can deliver to help people in countries throughout the world during the coronavirus pandemic. Game companies who opt to help in this way are also proving to be making a profitable business decision, by getting localized games out to serve as many gamers as possible during this time of vast need in 2020-2021.
The international gaming market, though facing unprecedented challenges of its own, is currently in a period of rapid growth while serving the needs of millions. Gamers and non-gamers around the world are turning to video games in these trying times and developers are rising up to meet the challenge. Now more than ever, quality localization is essential to getting games into the hands of the global gaming market.
The Andovar advantage
We are a global media localization agency. We help game producers, corporate HR and training departments, software and app developers, Ecommerce, MarCom, and media-focused enterprises with translating and localizing content for international markets. We provide turnkey localization services, including localization engineering and both text and voice localization, among others.
We have locations in Singapore (global headquarters), India, China, Thailand, Hungary and Colombia. Get in touch today to ask us about localizing your game for the benefit of gamers worldwide.
For those interested in learning more about the game localization process itself, please feel free to check out our Ultimate Games Localization Guide.