<Call of Duty: Modern Warfare> Reboot (called Modern Warfare) is launched last October and writing a new history of Call of Duty franchise.
In fact, Modern Warfare, which has received high expectation from the fans even before launching, made 600 million dollars in sales worldwide in just three days since it came out. Furthermore, according to Activision, over 500 million hours played and over 300 million multiplayer matches have been recorded in just fifty days since its release. It means they made a remarkable achievement not only in sales.
The heat from Korean fans didn’t fall behind. Famous YouTubers played the entire campaign play on air for about four or five hours at the first day of launching and the audiences who watched them responded enthusiastically. Modern Warfare especially supported both subtitle and voice-over in Korean at the first time out of the franchise. The voluntary fan-made videos about Korean voice-over of Modern Warfare such as the comparison of English and Korean version, best acting collection and swearing collection, etc. have been popular, so the Korean voice-over has been a huge topic among users.
Musai as for a studio took over the Korean voice-over process of Modern Warfare was so pleased to see the interest and feedback from users and was tempted to analyze them in detail. Therefore, this posting is written based on the analysis of various user responses about Korean voice-over of Modern Warfare through Media and online channels.
Media specialized in games payed attention about the improved translation quality of Modern Warfare compared to the beta test and previous series. Besides, they highlighted that Korean voice-over helped players to be immersed thoroughly in game.
Example 1. “Most of mistranslations are fixed, translation itself is improved in terms of readability. The voice-over is excellent as well, all characters (not only main ones but also minor ones like civilians) show great acting so that the sense of reality has been maximized. Unlike other games localized in Korean, the slangs and violent words from <Call of Duty: Modern Warfare> were not censored and have been dubbed lively like the English version.” (THIS IS GAME URL: http://www.thisisgame.com/webzine/game/nboard/16/?n=98923)
Example 2. “In the military, most of words in conversation are slangs and curses. There’s no doubt it’s much worse in the battlefield and nobody can be polite in their language in the moment of life and death. Imagine that your soldier is dying, who could say ‘Oh, he’s dying!’ like as a gentleman. This is the factor that made this game so realistic. The sense of immersion is much better with Korean dubbing than English.” (Gameshot.net URL: http://www.gameshot.net/common/con_view.php?code=GA5dc3d8dcd4626)
Example 3. “Otherwise the last series was criticized about translation in Korea, this one seems to put a lot of efforts on translation. Korean voice-over brings a different level in terms of the sense of immersion for players. (Game DongA URL: http://game.donga.com/93603/)
The Preference of <Call of Duty: Modern Warfare> Korean Voice-over
We analyzed users’ feedback about Korean dubbing of ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’ from YouTube, game communities, game news sites and blogs, etc. According to the analysis of 173 comments related to Korean dubbing, 56% of them were positive, 34% were negative and 10% were neutral.
Feedback by Type
Type A. The Best Compliments that Korean Users Rarely Gave
- “I doubt that this quality of dubbing will be possible again ever after.
- “Since GTA, it has been a while having this real deal of translation.
Moreover, how surprising that they dubbed this.”
- “What I felt after listening the well-dubbed game… Is this the feeling when the English speakers play the game in English, understanding perfectly? Dang.”
- “Translation is way better than original!”
Type B. Changes of Their Opinion from Neutral to Positive
- “This dubbed version is my first one that made me realized the combination ‘Korean subtitle with English voice’ is not the best one. Acting of Korean voice actors were so great, thus I could be fully immersed in playing.”
- “I didn’t expect this good. The immersion of playing with dubbing was deadly great”
- “I realized dubbing is really important thing through this game. The sense of immersion is really great.”
- “I was worried about dubbing. But it went way better than my expectation..”
- “Many people worried about Korean dubbing, but it got rid of the concern, enough to enjoy whole story.”
- “I didn’t know playing with voice-over was so great like this.”
Type C. Realistic Swearing and Curse
- “Wow. The characters seemed like foreigners with a Korean mother tongue lol”
- “The acting style of dubbing is so realistic. SO happy that realistic dubbing is now possible in Korea.”
- “the voice actors were great and especially they cursed like as a real world. I started this game with Korean dubbing, and it’s perfect.”
- “WTF, SHXX, FUXX LOL those words are perfectly dubbed LOLOL”
- “Korean swearing is so great lololololol”
Type A. Awkwardness of Military Terms
- “I’m willing to buy the game if the dubbing is not awkward, especially the military terms.”
- “It can be competitive with the original version if the military terms are modified to more realistic one.”
- “I think it would better to use the military terms for dubbing. You know, the Korean army things… Well I don’t know those words are really used in the field or not though.”
Type B. Inconsistency of the Use for Foreign Language (Russian)
- “I have a problem with dubbing rather than translation. Between missions, some Russian soldiers spoke Russian and the others spoke Korean.”
- “Some Russian soldiers speak Russian, and some don’t. Farah, a leader from Ukraine speaks Korean but her colleagues speak their native language. I was disappointed with this part.”
- “I believe they didn’t localize other languages beside English, so that foreign languages disturbed the immersion of playing. Except that, I think it’s up to personal taste.”
It was obvious what the client wanted for the game from the early stage of Korean voice-over session – ”Realistic”. The game itself had already included realistic factors which have never been seen before, so it was very clear where to go for directing Korean voice-over for the game as well.
To reach the goal, we had tried a new style of artistic directing and put efforts on each progress range from casting to recording. Moreover, the client had given not only a specific direction, but also strong supports no matter how risky it can be. That’s why new experiments like recording Korean swearing was possible and we assume that these are the key factors to maximize the sense of reality.
The survey has been committed from a limited number of people, so it’s hard to say that the results above represent the opinion of all users. Besides, in-depth study on the negative feedback should be commenced and make improvements as a next step. However, the Korean voice-over of Modern Warfare was a valuable chance to appeal the benefits of Korean voice-over on game contents to whom was neutral and that was the most priceless conclusion for us. Musai Studio will never cease new experiments for the best play and stepping forward.
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