“Video gaming will be the fast growing industry of mass media over the coming decade,” says Tim Cross. Brand building via games apps is becoming a popular way to reach millions of potential customers.

Offering free goods and services instead of mobile ads is one of the innovative approaches Kiip, a San Francisco-based mobile marketing start up, takes. Their mantra is exploiting the “rewards network”: users are rewarded with prizes as a way of marketing products, versus the use of traditional static advertisements. The most obvious use case is games, where players receive rewards for beating a level, for example. With Kiip, mobile ad developers can give their users real-world rewards for achievements in their apps. Kiip says it’s giving out an average of five rewards every second across more than 400 apps, leading to more than 100 million “moments of happiness” in the United States every month.

This company is going international and has recently signed up with the UK-based sushi chain, Yo! Sushi, to offer free sushi by using the apps that have integrated Kiip’s service in the UK. CEO and co-founder Brian Wong says that up to now the engagement rates have been very encouraging.

The majority of users are between the ages of 18 and 34 and are an equal mix between male and female users, with ads coming in from big names like Disney, Best Buy and Procter & Gamble.

The gaming industry is booming and there is a growing demand for professional game translation and localisation: both games and free offers through apps like Kiip when translated and localised will be able to carry out a global marketing strategy in split seconds. It is absolutely crucial for the games to be written in the players’ mother tongue, so that they will not waste time self-translating words that they cannot easily understand to enjoy the games.

There are two big challenges when translating games: the translation company, like SanTranslate, often has to translate the game when it’s at the development stage.  Only words are given to translate without any visual aids.  Once this is done, the app or game has to be tested and checked. Different languages require different approaches to test the games, for example:

  • Functionality testing: functionality testers look for general problems within the game itself or its user interface; they also test that the application works the same under different environments, such as browsers, OS, devices and social media platforms.
  • Load and performance: load testing requires either a large group of testers or software that emulates heavy activity. Load testing also measures the capability of an application to function correctly under load.
  • Localisation: expert testers in the local market of choice check and validate translations, symbols and other common L10N problems.
  • Usability: gamers are notorious for not reading instructions. Surveys and research reports are completed to investigate whether users understand the product.

Launching a multilingual game demands the cooperation and the liaison of many different experts including a translation team that specialises in games, a translation project manager and multilingual game testers.  Each must carry out their duty accurately and carefully to provide trendy and creative translations.