The puzzle of Globalization ... thoughts about my presentation in Kingfomarket, the amazing King annually event!
I write this post from the last row of a B737 from Norwegian Airlines to Spain, great weekend ahead! my son's communion awaits me and the final of the Liverpool-Real Madrid Champions League, wow! Life is Good 🙂
This week I spent a few days in Stockholm where I had the opportunity to attend our traditional Kingfomarket.
What is a Kingfomarket? Kingfomarket means many things, it's passion, illusion, fun,hope, it's food for thoughts, (and also for our stomachs, King takes great care of us!), It's exchanging ideas, it's sharing dreams, it's team building, it's a party, mucha fiesta ... because the tagline (unofficial) is Work hard, party harder & to create fun games we have to have fun ... there is no doubt that all the Kingsters have a very high, very, very high performance in that area 🙂
A Kingfomarket is also an opportunity to explain what we do ... because when a company goes from 500 to more than 2000 employees in 4 years .... it's really hard to keep up with what the different teams do in the different offices where King has Studios. ...
And this year for the first time I've had the opportunity to give a talk at the Kingfomarket,
Since I got into the world of Toastmasters a couple of years ago I promised myself that every time there was a call for volunteers, call for papers or anything related to public speaking I would offer myself, and then I would see how I get out of the mess ... I have to improve my communications skills, yes or yes, it is one of my priorities in my 2017-2020 roadmap of personal development .... and learning public speaking skills is like riding a bicycle ... I have to practice a lot, fall and get up to learn little by little, baby steps...
So there I was on the stage, ready to explain what's Globalization our context as video game makers... The title of my presentation was "The Puzzle of Globalization How to Make a Game Truly Global Avoiding Culturalization Pitfalls While Boosting Gross Bookings"
So there I was last week preparing a talk about "The puzzle of Globalization" and in my post this week I want to reflect a bit on the main message of my talk. A message supported by 2 core ideas
- Content is more than words
- To succeed in a Global market a Translation team is not enough
1.-Content is more than words
A localization project now is very different from a project like the ones I was doing in the mid 90's. At that time when we worked localizing Microsoft Excel or Lotus Smartsuite ... the content was basically words, many words, many help files, many reference material... everything was translated, everything was translated even the VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), decision, which by the way I never understood , and 20 years later I still do not understand .. what's the point of translating the commands to create a macro? Well, anyways, my point is precisely that ... everything was translated and the content was just words ... but now it's more than words ... in my presentation, I emphasized that content is more than words!
Content are maps, flags, music, images, even colors ... People outside the world of localization are often surprised when they hear me say that, but yes, that's right, even the colors are localizable! for me, red the farther the better, especially in my bank account, but in China, the redder the better, it is the color of happiness!
The fact that content is more than words makes audits of content necessary because otherwise, the probabilities of offending someone are quite high.
A content audit is our lifejacket so as not to be shipwrecked in the complex hyperconnected and global world in which we live.
But content is also more than words in the sense that you can create a user experience "simply" appealing to the local taste of consumers as in the examples I include below.
Creating local content tailored to the tastes of our consumers helps create a truly global experience.
2. To succeed in a Global market a Translation team is not enough
I imagine that each industry has its own cliché, my sister is a teacher and the cliché "OMG teachers have tons of holidays"
Yes, they have more vacation days than most people, but what no one usually thinks is how complex it is to teach every day to a group of 30 teenagers of 15 years old with hormones in the clouds .... and with the interest to learn physics and chemistry on the floor ... the cliche of our industry is that what we do is simply translate, basically we are a Google Translation API with a pair of legs and 2 arms pounding the keybpard in https://translate.google.com/ and that's pretty much it, the output is ready to use and we have the translated software.
Well, the task we do is a little bit (but only a little bit :) more complex than that.
In a Global World, we need a Globalization strategy that covers different services and strategies to make sure that our products are ready for different users in their own language in their own culture to provide a personalized local experience in a seamless way.
And that is achieved through Internationalization, Culturalization, Localization, Transcreatión.
When we manage to explain (and our stakeholders understand) that:
- to succeed globally with our application/ software/web page/video games... it takes more than words, we are on the right track,
- when we manage to explain that internationalization, Transcreation are key activities to get top-notch global products we are on the right path
- when we increase the visibility about strategies (internationalization, culturalization, localization and transcreation) that we need to execute at the same time (not as an afterthought) perfectly integrated into the software development process we are on the right path
- and when we manage to explain that content is everything we are on the right path
When we do all these actions I explain above definitely we are on the right path.
On the path that we will be closer to putting the Globalization / Localization (Globalisation / Localisation for my UK friends) industry in the place it deserves.
I do not know if I have managed to explain that properly in our Kingfomarket
I'm not sure if globalization puzzle is well understood, but when you do something with enthusiasm, and give everything you have inside, there is no reason to be disappointed, so mission accomplished, maybe I'm naive, maybe I'm crazy, well, I don't mind maybe that's why this is my favourite quote from the legendary Apple guru
Let's keep explaining this wonderful puzzle that Globalization is ... let's keep pushing to have Localization industry in the place it deserves 🙂
I have to go offline now! we are going to land and I have to turn off my laptop. See you soon!