Significance Of Japanese To English Translation In The Gaming Industry


If there was an award for the most technical and weird place of all time, it would be Japan. These hard workers are passionate people and think very differently from the rest of the world. However, their uniqueness is what makes them so likable and intriguing. The Japanese ever since they came out of their feudal laws, have enjoyed success through most of their existence. One field where they dominate highly is the gaming sector. Most of you might have played a Japanese game at some point in your life. For example, Tekken, Super Mario, Final Fantasy, Blood Bourne, Ghost of Tsushima, and Metal Gear are all Japanese games. Some of the names might have surprised you and if you do your research, many more will. 

In the list mentioned above, Ghost of Tsushima is one of the earlier AAA titles given various awards and is arguably in the top 5 best PlayStation games of all time. Millions of people played the game and will continue to play it. These games are prime examples of very good Japanese to English translation services. Everything from the menu to what the game character says is translated and even transcreated in some aspects. Tekken holds yearly Esports championships and the streaming is seen by millions of people. Marketing such tournaments and attracting international players also requires professional translation services.

Japanese Gaming Industry Facts

As of 2023, Japan ranks third in terms of gaming revenue in the world. Given the size of the country and the number of people in the gaming sector, these numbers are outstanding. In 2023, Japanese gaming raked in $22.9 billion. If you go back in time to the early 2000s Japan alone accounted for almost half the world’s video gaming revenue. Honestly, for me, these numbers are not shocking because once upon a time Japan was the most involved country in gaming. All the best and most famous gaming consoles were and are still Japanese. Sega, Atari, Playstation1-5, and Nintendo are just some of their innovations. 

The Japanese people are crazy for Pokemon game. 50,000 copies of the game were sold in January 2023. 4.6 million copies of Pokemon games were sold last year and Pokemon Go still has a very strong community worldwide. All these Pokemon games use Japanese to English translation services to reach global audiences. 

Gaming is going on to become a respectable career in Japan now. Though the acceptance is still in the making, considerable portions of the Japanese population recognize gaming as a career. This is thanks to E-Sports tournaments and streaming services that have made it so common. Professional translation services are often used to promote these events around the world.

Thanks to a local Kazumi Takai, who is obsessed with salvaging old games, regularly maintains his Computer Space machine, which was made back in 1971. Making it the oldest functioning arcade game in the world. Speaking of arcade machines, fights were also very common in arcades. People would even throw ashtrays at one another. In a polite country like Japan, gaming really brought out the inner rage.

How Did Translations Aid in Japanese Gaming Success?

Just imagine if the PlayStation, Sega, or Nintendo devices were only available in the Japanese language. The games played on them were not provided by Japanese to English translation services or any other language for that matter. Do you think that Japan would have gone on to become a giant in the gaming sector?

Although professional translation services were very key to their success. Their games were not tailored for foreign audiences. However, this uniqueness is also key to their success. They catered to the market, by not catering to the market. This is why people must translate materials into other languages if they want to expand their businesses. Often it is the only pre-requisite of penetrating foreign markets.

Games are often adaptions created through manga and anime. These materials are also converted into different languages using gaming translation services. I know very avid readers of manga and watchers of anime. The easiest example is that of Pokemon, that are famous the world over and then some.

Gaming translations help the Japanese promote their Esports tournaments worldwide. Each year hundreds of gamers come to compete in games like Tekken. Streaming channels like Twitch further promote the games in their company. Because they cover the events in their languages.


I do not think there is any doubt in anyone’s mind that Japan became a global gaming phenomenon thanks to the translation of their games. Our favorite childhood games like Sonic, Mario, and so many more came into our lives for that reason. The strategy worked so well that our nostalgia and even our current lives involve Japanese games. Being a gamer myself I play at least 2 Japanese games a year. However, if these games were not available in English, I probably wouldn’t know they existed. Since most people buy games based on their trailers and gameplay videos. Even if you liked the gameplay, not understanding the lore means giving up 50% of the fun.

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