Culturalization, my hedgehog in the G-localization industry!
What do you remember from your university days?
Maybe the parties, maybe the fun playing on the campus, maybe a special love one? Maybe all together? Or maybe … you remember ….a video game? Yes, that’s me, I have to admit that back on my university days I was more interested in video games and computers than in anything else.
A geek was already sleeping inside me waiting to erupt like the volcano emanating lava; that happened ....while studying Computer Engineering. In the early 90’s I remember that after Cobol classes (Cobol? OMG!, I hate to talk/write like an old man 😃 4 friends, Oscar, Antonio, Marco and me used to meet to work on a software project we were creating … but looking into perspective, that was just an excuse to meet to code for an hour and eat tasty, greasy, pepperoni pizza and play during another 3 hours! Because back on those days a special creature was born, very special. As fast as a lightning and as blue as a lightning … and that special creature was an animal, a hedgehog to be more precise!
Do you remember this creature full of personality?
I remember it perfectly, at the beginning of the 90s Sega introduced this nice hedgehog to compete with Mario Bros. Sonic Sega is a game that I loved from the beginning. I always liked platform games, and this game was just great. I remember with fondness those days in which 4 friends of twenty-somethings met to talk about everything, and of course, to spend a very pleasant afternoon playing with Sonic ... Recently I finished reading the book Good to Great, this book is considered one of the best books in history. In it, Jim Collins analyses what makes some companies good and others excellent. The book is superb, really informative and full of great advice. What I like the most is the concept of the hedgehog! When I read it, I quickly remembered the Sega hedgehog and how many hours I spent with my friends.
The concept of hedgehog is very interesting, it is based on 3 areas and it has multiple uses.
It can be used to find our personal mission or it can be used to define a business plan; and of course, it can be used also to craft our G- localization strategy! Because when I think about what makes a video game moving from good to great I think that G-localization teams can play a fundamental role to achieve this greatness.
How do we do this?
What’s our hedgehog point here …. It’s culturalization! Culturalization is our hedgehog!
Keep reading and you will not only understand how to use a hedgehog in localization but maybe, even in other areas. Because of my very good old friend, Sonic, the hedgehog is here to help us to shine in different disciplines!
From my Localization point of view in the video game industry for a video game to move from good to excellent, it needs to have 3 solid aspects clearly defined and successfully implemented and executed (internationalization, localization, transcreation). These 3 aspects need to be deeply internalized. If this happens then we have our hedgehog, the intersection of these 3 disciplines will create culturalization. And this is where the rubber meets the road to move a game from good to great … from good retention metrics to great retention metrics, from good monetization metrics to great monetizations metrics ….
However one of the main problems in our industry it’s that our hedgehog will not be easy to understand. I believe culturalization of a video game (or even in software in general) is one of the most neglected components of our industry. Perhaps the reason for forgetting this might be that there is no clear understanding of what it means to culturalize a video game ... If that is your main question, do not worry! You have this blog and this post where I will explain to you exactly what’s the meaning of culturalization when it comes to the video games industry.
Game culturalization is a complex process; However, if I want to explain it in a simple language, I would personally define it as culturalization is a series of steps we take so as not to offend anyone. Nobody likes to be offended when playing a game or using any application on their mobile. And that is exactly the objective of the culturalization phase, we avoid that someone feels annoyed when using our product, because let’s be honest if I am playing a strategy game and the country flag is wrong ... then my perception of quality of that game and that developer company will be affected.
To run a proper culturalization check we need to pay attention to a different number of factors (figure table 1)
And the list goes on and on … because in the case of mobile games we take one step even further and it requires a deeper culturalization check:
- Icon of the game
- App description
- Keywords and
- ASO (not familiar with ASO, no worries! Check out my previous post about this topic)
Yes, proper games culturalization is complex, but who said that finding our hedgehog was an easy task! what it’s important to mention is that the intersections of the 3 disciplines, internationalization, localization and transcreation it’ll make our games to move from good to great.
Are you ready to look for your hedgehog? I’m so happy after reading From Good to Great book to have had the opportunity to remember again my old friend Sonic, Gracias Viejo amigo I won’t forget you and maybe Karma or maybe something else…. we are playing again this weekend!!! because I don’t have anymore my old console where I met you for the very first time … but you are back again this week on my iPhone. We are celebrating your 25th birthday! ¡Feliz cumpleaños amigo! Let’s find again together the seven Chaos Emeralds 😃
Have a splendid weekend everyone!