Video Game Localization Fails and What We Can Learn From Them

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Gaming is quickly becoming one of the most popular pastimes of people nowadays. We all know how addictive playing games can be. And gamers like to play all the famous games, regardless of the language as long as it’s fun. One example of a popular game is PubG. It was created in South Korea and quickly gained a massive fan following. Thanks to the demand, it has now been translated into several languages.  

To make a game more palatable for an international audience, video game translation services and localization play a significant role. You might be wondering about the difference between localization and translation. Localization process is an umbrella term and translation is part of that process. Within the localization process, several factors are involved such as images, UX/UI design and adaption to cultural nuances. 

However, video game localization is a challenging task and requires lots of time and practice to perfect it. Several game makers end up making mistakes that end up being the source of memes. Following are some famous video game localization fails and some lessons that we can learn from them:

Candy Crush Saga

Candy Crush Saga is the perfect example of those addictive and dopamine releasing games. It gained a lot of popularity for its colorful UI design and simplay to play format. The game makers decided to translate the game into several languages to attract more players. However, the situation backfired when it came to the French translated version. 

The game ended up having many errors including inaccurate grammar and spelling mistakes. As a result, instead of attracting more players, it ended up leaving a negative impact. Nonetheless, game makers released an updated version that had accurate text with the help of a professional translation agency.

Lesson to Learn: 

Mistakes like these ruin the gaming experience for the players and leave them feeling unsatisfied. Moreover, in the age of social media, even the slightest mistakes become viral fast and overall ruin the reputation of the game. Hence, it is of utmost importance to avoid language mistakes in translations.

Resident Evil

Another example of game localization gone wrong is Resident Evil. It was first released in Japan. It had to be edited according to the preferences of the Western audience. 

However, it failed to impress the audience with the new version. The changes were mostly incorrect with nonsensical translations. Some of the lines such as  “You were almost a Jill sandwich,” and “You, the master of unlocking…”  ended up becoming memes on the internet. The localized version was so terrible that the players felt confused and angry at the typos and mistranslations. 

Lesson to Learn: 

This example highlights the importance of hiring one of the well reputed game localization companies. A company with experience would have the skills and expertise to adapt the content as per the language nuances. 

NES: Pro Wrestling Game

Another funny example of a video game translation wrong is from this vintage 1986 wrestling game. Once the game ended and the opponent was beaten, these words used to come on the screen ‘A Winner Is You!’. Initially, the players were annoyed with the incorrect English translation. However, later on, it ended up becoming a catchphrase amongst players to congratulate someone sarcastically.

Lesson to Learn: By making mistakes like these, game makers end up making their target audience feel like they are not respected. Hence, it is essential to consider the cultural nuances and appropriate translations when intending to launch your game overseas. 


This is another example of a Russian game with incorrect English. The game gained massive popularity in Russia and the makers decided to come up with an English version. However, the game localization was a poor effort and could not gain the same popularity in other parts of the world. Similarly, the game was too unique and mind bending for the English audience. 

Lesson to Learn: When it comes to video games, UX/UI design is a crucial aspect to consider. Since citizens of every country have their own preferences, it is important to ensure that game design has adaptations as per the target region. By adapting the UX/UX design according to the target audience, the user experience will improve and will be made more relatable for them. 

Final Word 

For game developers, the worldwide market offers enormous development potential. It is critical to make sure you have a solid game localization process in place if you want to position your business for exponential expansion. Similarly, by implementing a strong localization management platform to build a solid foundation is crucial. 

Moreover, gaming is an immersive experience and to provide the best experience to the gamers, the localizations and translations need to be on point. Otherwise, the players feel disappointment and as a result it can generate bad word of mouth.

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