Video game localisation is a costly and time consuming process, especially when you have one of the largest suits of IP led web and app games under your brand umbrella. Warner Media asked Kids Industries to help them determine the importance of localisation when it comes to consumer discovery, attraction, use and advocacy, and ultimately, if there is a minimum viable level of localisation that causes the optimum level of engagement.
We conducted this large-scale study across three markets – Holland, Spain and Turkey – as each had quite different English Proficiency Index (EPI) scores. In each country, our main sample focus was children aged 4-12 years old and their parents. This broad age range meant we could better understand the role of language across developmental stages.
The first wave of research involved reaching 1500 families through an online survey, allowing us to dig into broader gaming behaviours and language preferences, as well as the importance of interacting with preferred vs. English language assets and games. A good portion of this survey was dedicated to an innovative simulation of web game and app store decision making. We used language as a key variable and served stimulus with differing levels of localisation to families, assessing attitudes and intended behaviours across scenarios.
The largest part of the study focused on the actual gaming experiences of 50 families across our three target markets (Holland, Spain and Turkey), over 14 days. We had three main research conditions in each market, and children were either instructed to continuously play a selection of games in their local language, in English, or were given no language based instructions.
Children and parents reported on their experiences through bespoke, child friendly surveys and online qualitative interviews. Through expert planning and analysis we were able to periodically track and make sense of children’s gaming behaviours to truly understand the impact of language on levels of engagement, enjoyment and game advocacy.
The final outcome of this project was a robust game and asset localisation model that offered strategic advice and supporting evidence to empower localisation decision making. The model was comprehensive yet structured, and considered key uncovered variables, such as child age, the English language proficiency of a market, game type, brand familiarity and the game’s brand purpose. Due to the breadth and depth of the study, we were also able to test and offer recommendations on language selection menus and icons, as well as prioritisation for fixing language errors in games.