We sat down with Petra Maria Poola, Head of Business Development and Operations at the mobile-first casino game developer OneTouch, to discuss how suppliers should adapt their products to the geographic regions which they are targeting.
Is content localisation a myth?
No – for those who get it right, it’s an invaluable acquisition and retention strategy. What do we mean when we talk about localised games? Put simply, it’s a title that’s tailored to a specific geographic audience.
And it takes a lot more than just changing the language to do that. From both a visual and technical perspective, adapting your content to individual target markets can do wonders for engagement.
For example, there are obviously still places lacking in internet coverage, particularly in growth regions such as Latin America. For suppliers trying to enter those territories, that makes it all the more important to ensure that your games don’t take up too much storage, and can be easily downloaded by those with an older smartphone model or a slower internet connection.
Do you localise your games? If so, how? And which regions are they tailored to?
Here at OneTouch, we think it’s all about striking the right balance between creating international hits with cross-cultural appeal, while also producing content for specific local audiences.
Our recent release, Ganbaruto Battle, draws inspiration from the great Japanese tradition of sumo-wrestling. It features a renowned Estonian wrestler called Baruto Kaito, so its appeal is likely to include, without being limited to, players from that country.
Equally, classic casino themes such as Ancient Egypt and Vegas-style fruit symbols often generate global popularity. Our timeless slot title, Forgotten Pharaoh, has achieved tremendous and widespread success by drawing on the former theme.
One might expect that our basketball-based slot MVP Hoops performs especially well in markets where that sport is popular, but it’s actually proved a hit in regions where basketball is not generally followed by the wider population.
Finally, we expect our upcoming title Live Crash to reach a transnational audience, because it is a crash-style title similar to those enjoyed in the crypto-gambling space – which is rapidly gaining followers from around the world.
We research every market diligently to understand what its players want in precise detail. Localisation has proved a successful strategy for OneTouch!
Are there any aspects of game development which are internationally uniform, and do not vary based on where you are in the world?
Some aspects of content development require more localisation than others. Failing to geographically adapt your game from a visual perspective might mean that customers might not want to play it. Failing to do so from a technical perspective, meanwhile, could mean that they are not able to play it.
However, there are other stages of the game development process which are not subject to regional variation. With the exception of a game’s volatility, mechanics do not tend to vary all that much on the basis of geography, unlike technical and visual effects.
Similarly, sometimes localisation isn’t just about adapting to cultural or infrastructural differences, it’s simply a case of knowing the ratio of land-based to online players within the market you are targeting. It’s all about creating an enjoyable entertainment experience for the end user by paying heed to their specific cultural context. Get that right, and you could be onto a winner.