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The latest developer update for Alaloth: Champions of the Four Kingdoms talks about the team's plans when it comes to translating the game and how that fits into its overall early access roadmap. Check this out if you'd like to know roughly how much it can cost to localize a video game:
We are planning the next sprint with December approaching and we thought it was a good moment to talk a bit about what's going on with localization and language-related stuff, let's say. We are receiving hundreds of messages from players all over the world asking for Alaloth in their native language and we would like to clarify that, as developers, our will has always been to release the game providing the highest number of languages in. This has been one of the main reasons that brought us to sign with our former publisher back in 2020. The original plan from us was set to deliver a D1 release with at least 7 languages in and English dubbing for narration, companions and main quest as starting point. As you know, taking the game back has been a very long process and the plan changed. Localization is a really important part of game discovery, since it opens up so many new potential markets for us. For example, the Chinese market, is massive on Steam. If the game isn't translated into Chinese, most of the millions of Steam players in China won't even see it as a default game in their Steam store. That's how localization and discovery interact. This is just a sample to say that we do know how it works but once again, it's about budget and available resources. Just to give you an idea: Alaloth is around 300.000 words now and the original content we thought to be considered for dubbing was nearly 75.000 words. To give you a bit of context: The Lord of The Rings trilogy [books] is 455.000 words circa. Neverwinter Nights is 200.000. Baldur's Gate II is 188.000. 300.000 words means roughly 60.000€ per language [translation, implementation and testing], which is a huge amount of money, considering that we decided to go with a very user friendly price point in many different countries. Despite the great sales we had, these countries should sell x10.000 to make the investment reasonable. We are trying our best to build-up a plan to go through this, but it will take some time [and some tech work too]. We've met new potential publishing partners willing to help with this and we confirm our will to slowly include new languages on the way [one by one in case, if still self publishing] but of course it will take some time. We have to say that many indie groups offered their services for free but we didn't like the idea of taking something without giving back anything so, at least for now, this is not an option. If you want to help us, just point your friends here, use your social networks and bring people on our Discord server if they have questions. You know we are always on! It was a due update, thank you for the support as usual!
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