Lionbridge Gaming is growing. Over the past years, we’ve built a connected network of Functional and Localization QA labs around the world. We began with testing labs in Warsaw, Beijing, and Bellevue, and we’re now delighted to serve a new portion of the world with our new testing labs in San Jose, Costa Rica, and Berlin, Germany. Next up: Tokyo in 2019.
It’s an exciting time for Lionbridge Gaming—and no one is more thrilled for the opportunities ahead than Tugdual Delisle, LG General Manager. In this Q&A, he discusses the trends driving the regionalization of testing and explores what these new studios mean for our clients.
Why are we building new in-region testing labs?
For a couple of reasons. We’re doing it to be able to offer our customers a scaled solution in every region and allow them to have testing teams close to their development centers.
That means we’re expanding our ability to tap into local and regional talent exactly where gamers already are. We can find testers in-region, and they can figure out if the game works to their satisfaction.
Why does that matter to Lionbridge Gaming clients?
Speed. Our clients are releasing new features and content every day–sometimes even faster than that. With our scalable testing centers in regions close to them and to their end users, our clients can move so much faster. Developers increasingly need a company that can deliver functional quality assurance on their time—every hour, every minute, every day. They want the development and testing teams to know each other very well and work along the same cycles.
Once we have a network of centers, we can really work around the clock all over the world.
And proximity to professionals completing localization QA matters for language and cultural accuracy. When you’re extracted from your culture for too long, at some stage you lose the vernacular of day-to-day language. That could impact your ability to be an optimal localization tester—and this is coming from a French expat who now lives in the US! We are steadily growing our access to testers who are native to the regions in which they are conducting tests and who have a relevant, culturally appropriate perspective.
Our native testers can pick up on cultural bugs so quickly. If you’re not immersed in a culture, you don’t know if something that was not offensive has become offensive.
Beyond functionality bugs, our LQA testers are also looking for high-quality of the translation and of the audio. Does it hit the right tone? They’re looking for language bugs, voice bugs, incorrect translations, gaps in understanding. We and our customers are seeking intimacy with game enthusiasts in their target markets.
You’ve mentioned that Lionbridge Gaming is seeing new gaming trends that will require increasing intimacy between game developers and publishers. What are those trends?
There are three that are top-of-mind: Gaming as a Service (GaaS), cloud gaming, and IP regionalization.
1. GaaS is essentially the notion that you publish a game, then, at a regular cadence, you release new features and content, which you monetize. It’s an interesting business model, because it provides recurring revenue for game developers and publishers and a higher volume of diverse content for gamers. It’s a win-win.
With GaaS, success is all about speed. The development cycles are accelerating, the content release cycles are accelerating. It’s no different than Facebook, Instagram, Outlook—you get new features every day that didn’t exist yesterday. Our clients release new features, episodes, weapons, characters—and people buy them. They’re constantly developing, and that requires constant testing. And now games are global, so we need to work in every geography to guarantee the quality of the product at scale.
2. In cloud gaming, games move from an electronic build to a cloud-based build gamers access via their devices of choice. For these types of games, you need a lot of last-mile testing and cross-device testing. You need to test how games behave close to the server infrastructure that gaming companies utilize around the world. You need to make sure the game is actually functioning well in the cloud in every market you’re in. You can’t test that from afar—you need to be physically in the region to test the performance, speed of download, etc.
3. And IP Regionalization is the notion that games can be and sometimes must be adapted for local audiences. The idea that a game will not necessarily work for all audiences is growing. Services like narrative design help on the content side, but you also need to know that when your game content is repackaged, it still works. Gaming companies need people in the region, from the region delivering the best real-time advice.
Why are you excited about these new testing centers?
As a company, we’re creating something quite unique—a network of labs connected by best processes and state-of-the-art real-time communication and knowledge sharing tools, with secure infrastructure, and with the ability to work simultaneously on the same game or close to the customer within an hour of the customer. This gives us all kinds of new opportunities to service our customers even better. It’s taking us to the next level. We have more scale—and we’re more regional and more local. We’re serving customers in every key development zone: Latin America, the US, Europe, Asia. As a test organization, we’re becoming whole.
And what’s your ultimate goal for Lionbridge Gaming?
To be able to deliver our suite of testing and globalization services from every region and every key LG lab, so we are as close as possible to our customers and to game enthusiasts around the world. Our labs in Warsaw and Beijing are already there. Berlin will be there before the end of the year, and Costa Rica and Tokyo will be fully capable in Q1 of 2019. That is our value prop: top-quality, in-region centers with localization capabilities mixed with functional testing and localization testing capabilities, connected into a global services platform that can serve our customers locally, regionally or globally.
These new testing centers are one step closer to that all-value prop. Learn more about Lionbridge Gaming or start a conversation here.