Does Localization Have an Effect on Reviews? General Insights.

Do the players care about your app being localized? And does this have an impact on the reviews that they give you? We previously presented the first part of our research of over 800,000 reviews from games available on the Google Play Store. We found three patterns: requests for localization, reviews about bad localization and reviews about good localization. We also focused on the French market, you can check the insights here.

On this post we will focus on the general insights we got from this research. For French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese we gathered 21,000 reviews about localization and we were very surprised to discover that more than 50% of the total number are requests for localization. This shows us that players from non-English speaking countries care, A LOT, about being able to use your game in their own language to the point of mentioning it in most of the reviews that they give you.

 

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We did not find however any relevant co-relation between the lack of localization and a lower rating. The results were equally divided between 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 stars which shows us that players will rate the game in an objective way, yet they will mention how they would like to have it localized.

This does not apply however to reviews about bad localization. Bad localization can range from a game translated with Google Translate to a game with spelling mistakes to language bugs or simply, a game in which a word was wrongly translated. Bad localization reviews represent only a small percentage of the total localization reviews but the players do give a much lower rating, the bigger chunk represented by 3 and 4 stars. If we draw a comparison between requests for localization and bad localization reviews we can definitely say that bad translations have a negative impact on reviews.

Good localization reviews surprised us as well. Most developers tend to think players don’t really rate a game according to its good localization, and they are somehow correct. Good localization reviews also represent a small percentage of the total amount of reviews however good localization has a direct impact on higher ratings. As the graph shows, over 80% of players gave 5 stars simply because the game had been well localized.

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So how does localizing your game affect your reviews?

Although localization does not have such a bigger effect on reviews as gameplay, it will still be a topic of discussion. And as we saw above, if you localize your game well you lower the chances of getting a lower rating or many requests for localization.

Moreover, keep in mind that the Google Play Store will not feature games which have a rating lower than 4 stars so good localization will also be preventive in that sense.