Submitted by jpressman on Thu, 12/28/2023 - 14:20

GlobalLink NEXT EMEA 2023 Recap: A Game-Changer with the Debut of the Gaming Track


Since its beginning, GlobalLink NEXT EMEA 2023, hosted by TransPerfect in Amsterdam, has been a beacon for professionals seeking the latest insights into GlobalLink localization, cultural cohesion, content management, and translations. This year, the conference delivered an exciting twist: the debut of the gaming track. Let's delve into this recap, taking a closer look at the content and insights shared in each of the gaming sessions and setting the record straight on their order:

Day 1

Xbox and Zenimax: Video Game Localization in a GlobalLink Marketplace

The gaming track took off with a powerful session by Xbox and Zenimax, industry giants. They delved deep into the intricacies of video game localization within the GlobalLink marketplace. Attendees received a masterclass on navigating the challenges and seizing the opportunities to reach diverse and international gaming audiences.

Ruth Granados, GlobalLink Localization Director at ZeniMax Media, started the session and walked us through her approach towards their game localization, sharing insightful data that put color behind their approach.

Following Ruth was Sean McIntyre, Distribution & Accessibility Director at Xbox, who shed light on Xbox's launch and post-launch initiatives so that as many people as possible can engage with their content globally across all channels and languages.

This golden combination of powerhouses presenting together and highlighting both the development and the launch section of a development cycle really elevated the room with insights from which one can only improve.

Jawaker: Profitability and Monetization Strategy for Games

Jawaker, a notable player in the mobile gaming industry, continued the Day 1 lineup. They shared their insights on profitability and monetization strategies, shedding light on effective monetization strategies while maintaining an engaging gaming experience for players.

Generating lots of positive feedback from attendees, Thamer Matar – Head of Growth – shared hands-on examples and data on their successful monetization approaches across all markets. Not all markets are the same, and Jawaker adapts to each one of them to ensure optimal profitability of their products, which we all directly or indirectly work towards.

Day 2

Focus Entertainment: Structuring the Game Development Pipeline with R&D

Day 2 brought a fresh perspective to Focus Entertainment's session. Attendees were treated to an exploration of structuring the game development pipeline with research and development (R&D). This session provided valuable insights into streamlining game development and fostering innovation. Xavier Marot shed light on the complex world of game development scheduling, emphasizing the challenges many games face due to poor pre-planning, budget cuts, and feature creep. A handful of critical questions he encourages people to ask themselves during the game development process are:

  1. Where does localization fit into the development schedule?
  2. Is it part of pre-production considerations?
  3. Should you wait for content lock in the source language?
  4. How to handle post-lock changes?

All of this, Xavier stressed, is essential to consider early, citing benefits like a smoother update process for developers, process and tool dependence leading to repeat sales, and highlighting the three critical axes of service: Cost vs Time vs Quality.

InnoGames: Meeting the Needs of the Moment in Game Localization

InnoGames, a Germany-based publisher, was represented by Dominica Borgosz, who shared its prowess in online and mobile gaming and presented its expertise on Day 2. Their session showcased their journey from initially supporting prominent European languages to expanding into numerous markets, including Korea, China, and Japan. Sales data revealed that 90% of their revenue was generated from just nine language markets, prompting them to scale back language support for future titles. Innogames is also exploring new technologies, including Customer Support AI, Machine Translation, and In-game AI. All of this Dominica shared is to highlight the significance of staying adaptable and meeting the ever-evolving needs of gamers. Attendees gained practical knowledge about staying ahead in a dynamic industry.

KeokeN Interactive: Developing AA/AAA Games on a Shoestring Budget

KeokeN Interactive, a studio based in the Netherlands known for its resourceful approach to game development, provided valuable strategies for developing high-quality AA/AAA games on a shoestring budget. Their first game, "Deliver Us The Moon," cost 1 million Euros, double the budget due to extended development time. However, it garnered 2 million players over its lifetime. Their second game, "Deliver Us Mars," involved a larger team of 25-30 people, a 3.5 million Euro budget, 2.5 years of development, and offered 10 hours of gameplay with less than 20% variance from the budgets. They exemplified the power of creative thinking and efficient resource management.

The Grand Finale: The Gaming Panel Discussion

The gaming track reached its zenith on Day 2 with an engaging panel discussion hosted by industry veteran Ima Somers. The panel discussion featured Ruth Garcia, Sean McIntyre, Xavier Marot, and Dominica Borgosz in discussions that enriched the event's content, discussing insights into the gaming industry's various facets, from development challenges to localization strategies and supporting small developers. The event emphasized the importance of staying agile, embracing new technologies, and focusing on key markets to ensure success in this dynamic industry.

This discussion featured experts from each gaming session, forming a powerhouse of knowledge. The panel delved into "Breaking Department Silos Through the Game Development Cycle," offering practical strategies to enhance collaboration and efficiency within development teams.

Feedback and What Lies Ahead

Attendees of the gaming track were effusive in their praise. The sessions were not only insightful but were also delivered by experts passionate about their craft. GLOBALLINK NEXT's gaming track set a high standard for a first edition, leaving attendees eagerly anticipating future editions.

Final Takeaways

In conclusion, GLOBALLINK NEXT 2023's gaming track was a game-changer, breathing fresh life into an already prestigious event. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, GLOBALLINK NEXT promises to be an essential resource for staying at the forefront. With the success of this inaugural gaming track, the future looks bright for GLOBALLINK NEXT and the gaming industry as a whole. The best is yet to come!

By Stijn Morren, Strategic Account Executive