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Reader Comments (55)

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 5:30PM alucard3000 said

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So how exactly does that work having a eastern westernization team?

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 7:42PM Noteamini said

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market research
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Posted: Oct 19th 2010 7:43PM Graill440 said

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Whilst drinking a mountain dew i nearly choked reading this. well typed. (grin)
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Posted: Oct 19th 2010 5:55PM Brianna Royce said

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Er... I'll say the obvious just to head off the ugly comments. You don't need to be born in a country to speak the language or become intimately familiar with the customs and proclivities of its people. Localization teams, kinda by definition, are hired because they have just those kinds of skills, and I suspect their work is backed up by plenty of marketing research.

In any case, you have no idea whether any of the team (the ones in the picture or otherwise) is even from Korea, only that they spoke in Korean to a Korean magazine in Korea. I'm reminded of Miles' line in Lost, in his perfect California accent: "I'm from Encino."

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 6:18PM (Unverified) said

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I understand what you are saying. And i see your optimism, however i'm just wondering why the Entire team appears to be of eastern decent. I would assume it would be best to have a team of ethnic variety to get a well rounded westernization of the game.

It broadens the perspective when you hire multiple ethnicities for specific projects. And i'm sure it would apply here too.

So unfortunately, based on what i read and see in the article i am more than likely to assume the worst in TERA's westernization process.
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Posted: Oct 19th 2010 8:07PM Graill440 said

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First i dont care about this title, just throwing some insight and a couple comments in. Remember vanilla.

Brianna typed " I suspect their work is backed up by plenty of marketing research"

Similar to the same type of marketing research Aion had i suppose? I am quite sure they are fluent and competant in the original games design and focus, and just as well trained on the research they recieved while living amongst their own peers in whatever westernized country they are/were in. However hard these folks try they will not gain the wisdom of a lifetime of being "western" to gain the insight needed.

What happened to Aion? Did the vaunted Aion westernization team put together an incredible master plan for all us westerners only to have it thown in the trash by their asian bosses before it was released? Tera, you watching? (nope)

You see Brianna, we hired outsourced teams (not stating the folks in the pic are) also to cover development for certain demographics and races, i know what a specialized group of folks can accomplish and not accomplish, i also know that more often than not these groups migrate to their own race and culture cliqs, regardless of the country they are in, its not a bad thing but a fact. Simply being trained or "westernized" via market research (i had to laugh at that, chuckle) does not make you "western" or give you a clue as to what the average joe wants in their particular country.

You have participated in market research studies for major businesses and can bodly type market research without laughing?

Nice article jef, just not something they should have shown all things being equal, just another stigma thats was created, you didnt have stereotypical group of western front folks for the picture? Chuckle.
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Posted: Oct 19th 2010 6:03PM Thac0 said

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Why do you guys (other posters) all assume that they aren't "westerners"? Because they have a different eye shape?

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 10:34PM (Unverified) said

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It's probably the fact that they work for Blue Hole Studios. A Korean company, based... wait for it... in Korea.
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Posted: Oct 20th 2010 2:04AM alucard3000 said

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I would have had the same reaction if it was a western games "easternization" team with a pic of an all white anglo-saxon group.But then again it would probably be safer to assume that they ^^ were not easterner's than it is this team not being westerner's.
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Posted: Oct 20th 2010 8:46AM Thac0 said

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@alucard.3000

Right, because western countries have a lot more diverse populations than Asia due to immigration. I know plenty of people of Asian decent that are as westernized as can be.
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Posted: Oct 19th 2010 6:32PM YogiFYG said

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Because people of different ethnicity cannot be Western? Even if they are native to east, localization teams hired for major games like TERA are not some chumps they picked up off the street. They are in these positions for a reason, cause they know what they are doing. Boiling down that they are failures or will fail because they look Asian is just shameful.

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 6:35PM Brianna Royce said

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Just to be pedantic here... Experiences broaden perspectives, not skin color or DNA. And the group of "people who speak Korean and something else" is a lot more likely to be filled with Korean faces than European ones, no matter what country they actually call home. Not that that should matter anyway.

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 6:36PM paterah said

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So I suppose Europe is not getting En Masse's version? I think I'm starting to get a bit concerned.

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 6:46PM Seraphina Brennan said

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If I may jump in here to clarify something...

Bluehole Studios is the Korean developer working on TERA. So, well, of course members of the team are Korean. They're a Korean company, so obviously all aspects of the team are Korean.

Now, the Westernization process is being aided and enhanced by En Masse Entertainment, lead by Brian Knox. Bluehole is working with En Masse to produce a product not only for Korean audiences, but also a revision of that product for American audiences. So, this Westernization team is simply a wing on the whole process.

And, lastly, as everyone else has said above... maybe some of them are quite good with American games and gaming culture? People can travel and play other games, ya know.

~Sera

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 6:53PM (Unverified) said

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i should have paid more attention to that part of the article. By the way I do think the textual translation of Aion was excellent. So I guess i can be a bit more confident in the the westernization of tera.
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Posted: Oct 19th 2010 7:20PM paterah said

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So do you think it is safe to assume that us Europeans will be getting a version close to that of En Masse? What's your opinion?
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Posted: Oct 19th 2010 7:28PM pcgneurotic said

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Sera's right to point out that they're only a part of the whole language team. Having said that, and speaking as professional proofreader of some 14 years' experience who has worked on a lot of games - including a lot of Korean mmogs (Knight Online, RedStone, Sword of the New World, Digimon RPG amongst others) - I can say that localisation is usually one of the least-liked or understood aspects of a game's production - and I'm talking about the actual front-line programmers here.

I should also point out that issues of nationality and culture are actually all too important for a translator/game localiser. Although translators of any stripe are generally very cultured, intelligent people who are quick to grasp new ideas and systems, working with language files for a game is unlike pretty much anything else in the translating world. Often they'll be .xls sheets with hundreds or thousands of lines, some containing mark-up and other 'weird' things that make it difficult to work with.

The goal of all translators is, or should be, to be as familiar with the culture and history of their target languages as possible, but this doesn't always happen and so - and particularly with Russian translators - you end up with the kind of dialogue and text that uses authentic idiom and vocabulary, but in awkward, weird ways that stand out for you but not for them. These often manifest as low-level swearing used in inappropriate ways ('Quick, there are cops up our ass!' 'Damn, I'll try to shake them out' is one recent example I saw).

Other problems include having a translator who is unfamiliar with games in general (makes mistakes in describing standard procedures, like installing or saving). Even one who is a real gamer with years' of gaming history can have difficulties when they don't know the genre they're working in, using the wrong kinds of words to describe things, or inappropriate but correct terminology (like using 'circle strafing' to describe turning as opposed to side-stepping).

Finally, the developers themselves are often their very own worst enemy. All too often I've been give an English translation to polish and proof with the request 'Make it natural.Make it more gamey etc', only to have every single preposition and article questioned, and then see in the finished product, 'corrected' text that is suddenly very much incorrect and weird. Western Europeans are generally very guilty of this, perhaps because they have more, better contact with English as a second language than their Asian or Russian counterparts. Ech, that's a sociology issue. Well, my last big project was months' of work on a AAA single player RPG that had a mixed French, German and American dev team, and that was a huuuge cluster-f***, as you might imagine. :D
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Posted: Oct 19th 2010 7:33PM Jef Reahard said

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Lol, thanks for that colorful insight Neurotic. Interesting (and humorous) stuff.
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Posted: Oct 19th 2010 6:48PM (Unverified) said

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"TERA's localization is more than a simple translation, word for word." - as stated above.

It comes down to whether the team can empathize or sympathize with what the NA market is looking for in the content of the game. Westernization is more than who can translate the best or most accurately. But also making sure that the translation makes sense to the audience.

I don't know for sure (so this is purely an uncredited statement), but i don't think Blizzard hires an all western(white)-american team for chinese-translation of their game seeing how the culture is so different. Just knowing the native isn't enough.

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 6:54PM Audacious said

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*GASP*

ASIANS are working with others on an ASIAN game. Stop the frickin' presses! You xenophobes are really great.

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