This is the second article in a series of ‘Multilingual Voiceover for Your Game’. In the first article, we looked at various data and trends about which language should be localized. (See: Multilingual Voiceover for Your Game: ① Which Languages Should I Select? http://blog.musaistudio.com/musai-multilingual-voiceover-for-your-game-%e2%91%a0-which-languages-should-i-select ) In this part, after selecting languages, we will discuss who to work with.
What kinds of recording studios are out there?
In terms of in-game text localization, we have posted an article on how to select a multilingual localization vendor. (See. Localization Recruiting Ep 2. How to Find the Best Localization Vendors for Your Game http://blog.musaistudio.com/musai-localization-recruiting-ep-2-how-to-find-the-best-localization-vendors-for-your-game)
It seems that most of the multilingual localization vendors offer both text and voice localization services, but the majority of voice localization projects go back to outsourcing to recording studios. Therefore, it is not easy to distinguish between a localization studio that has its own recording facilities and process and one that uses outsourcing. In addition, the number of localization vendors specialized in voice-over for games is much less, making it more difficult to discover and select good studios.
The recording studios can be categorized into 3 types like below.
TYPE ①. Recording Studios Specialized in Gaming voiceover
- Pros: it is easy to secure quality because it is specialized for the game genre.
- Cons: there are very few game recording studios in each country (or language), so it is difficult to find them.
TYPE ②. Main Global Multi-Language Vendors
- Pros: simplify communication channels – project management is convenient since you only need to communicate with MLV.
- Cons: 1) (relatively) expensive cost 2) even though there are many large MLVs, a few companies are specializing in games among them.
TYPE ③. Small-sized Local Recording Studio
- Pros: budget saving
- Cons: 1) lack of expertise in the gaming content 2) difficulty in finding local studios for each language
Each type has pros and cons, but it will be most effective for the game voice-over when working with a ‘game-specialized’ recording studio. However, as mentioned earlier, the process of discovering and evaluating a ‘game-specialized’ recording studio can be difficult. Actually, the gaming companies that have been working closely with Musai Studio for a long time also tell us that they are investing a lot of time to find a good studio and build a trusting relationship. In addition, experienced recording studios like us also take a long time to discover overseas partner studios, and we conduct continuous quality evaluation and verification to maintain the high quality of the result.
Which Type of Recording Studio will Major Global Game Companies Work with?
There are no right or wrong answers about choosing recording studios, but we can see how global game companies select one and get an idea. Most large-sized global game companies usually have their internal policies and put them as a priority when choosing recording studios. Besides, the presence of internal localization managers (or audio managers) affects the selection of recording studios, and it can vary depending on them.
In some cases, the localization or audio managers of a game company directly finds game recording studios (TYPE ①) for each language since they can handle the communication with each studio. Of course, there are some cases working with a global localization company (TYPE ②) to entrust multiple languages at once, and TYPE ①, ② of studios are mixed for each language from time to time. On the other hand, small developers with small voice localization budgets often request small local recording studios like TYPE ③. In the case of Musai Studio, a game recording studio, we, often work directly with game companies, but work with major MLVs as well.
Moreover, although game recording studios focus on one genre of content – game, they mostly provide voice localization service in not only their major language but also multilingual. (The major language means is the language of the country where each studio is located.) For instance, we are providing the voice localization service in major languages – English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, etc. for gaming content.
What Else Do I Have to Ask?
The question list you may want to check to the candidate recording studios.
- In-house studio and facility – It may be difficult to physically go and see overseas if the recording studio has their own facility or not. It is possible to determine whether the studio is in-house or outsourced to an external studio through the website or SNS channel of the studio.
- In-house staff – When selecting a vendor for text localization, it is necessary to figure out the number of in-house staff such as project managers and reviewers. Likewise, when selecting a recording studio for voice-over, it is recommended to check if there are in-house directors, project managers, and engineers and how many they are.
- Portfolio – Check the projects that the studio has worked on. If the portfolio includes projects with famous IPs, you need to check their work scope for those projects. Some of the cases can be included even though they participated only in a small part of the projects.
- Communication – English is a dominant language in business communication. Overseas studios almost impossible to respond in Korean, and even it may not be easy to work in English in some local studios. Most of them are available to communicate at the basic level of English, but there may be challenges when handling a project that requires a lot of communication.
Finding a reliable partner is not easy in any field. In particular, it is more difficult to find the right studio for game voice localization in multiple languages which requires considerable expertise. Even it may cost lots of trials and errors. We hope that the information about selecting a recording studio in this article can help ease your verification process a bit.
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