Why is it important to consider legal factors in video game translation?

video game translation

Video translation has become important for developers to reach their potential players. It was post-pandemic COVID-19 that the companies realized the need for the proper development of a virtual world. Translation of the video content plays a key role in targeting global audiences and making the environment work accordingly. Video translation services are important to consider to cater to a global audience. It can unlock a world of endless opportunities. Moreover, you need to know that up to 89% of YouTube viewers come from outside of the United States which makes it evident how English is not spoken and understood by everyone.

Video translation has also emerged as a powerful tool to communicate about the business, products, and other topics effectively. However, one should be mindful of the fact about the complexities that this field comes with. Different countries have different compliance rules, and regulations when it comes to video games and their translation, and it is extremely imperative for developers and businesses to adhere to these regulations for smooth functioning. Hence, the legal aspect is one of the important factors to be mindful of while dealing with video game translation. Negligence in legal matters often costs money as well as reputation stigmatizing the company.

Hence companies should always ensure that they consider the legal aspect during video game translation for the following reasons. Also having a team of lawyers can help with effective and legally coherent video translation.

Copyright clearance

First of all, it allows you to enjoy copyright clearance which is an important step to strive in your targeted region. The primary step involved is the identification of the copyrights of the video content that you want to get translated. This content can either be from the original creator, a production company, or a music licensing agency. Translating all these visual content demands written permission from the person who owns the content to further translate and distribute it in the target markets. This is important for effective and hassle-free video game translation services.

The copyright clearance further includes a fair usage policy and exceptions. Many times for some limited cases some exceptions might be allowed for the use of copyrighted material without permission for purposes such as criticism, commentary, or education. Nonetheless, it is important to note that fair use laws can vary with the region and it is crucial to consult the legal professional if your particular case can qualify or not. This information and knowledge further facilitates the translation team to make a relevant and coherent translation and only a professional translation company can handle such complexities.

Translation rights and contracts

Gone are the days when translation was a simple process of converting text from one language to another. There is much more involved in the process now. There are translation rights and contracts. Also, there are translator agreements. Delving into legalities as a business during gaming translation also empowers you to define the scope of work and take ownership of the translated content with the translators in your contract. It further includes specifying the target languages, delivery format, and whether you are empowering your translators with full copyrights for the translation of the script or subtitles. It is important to consider this information important during the execution of the translation process.

Third-party content

The video gaming content many times includes third-party content as well. The video games that include music, third-party animations, or stock footage should ensure that all these elements are cleared for translation and distribution in the target markets. Exploring the legal angle of the video game translation helps you to consider all these aspects. You either need to make your content clear from the third-party content before translation or you would have to ask for the copyrights so that you can play with your game and content openly. This requires including additional licenses from the respective owners in original and a few regions can also demand for the translation of these licenses in their native language.

Data protection regulations

Every piece of data is important and needs to be kept confidential. The video game data is even crucial to be kept private as the global market is full of competitors. There is fierce competition and failing to protect the data can give the rivals a new way to misuse it. Therefore, data protection regulations are important to be aware of and follow. However, not everyone can manage to understand the process and this is why it is important. Nonetheless getting into gaming translation and seeking a competent translation agency can help you to get into the depth. There are regulatory bodies such as GDPR in Europe and CCPA in the US and California that take care of the data and content. However, they ask to follow the defined procedures. If your video translation involves collecting personal information it is critical to save the data. Also, make sure that you initiate with the necessary consent from the individuals and implement the appropriate content and security measures. 


Video game translation is a challenging process. The acceptance of video games can be different in different countries. Almost all of the regions demand translation of the content in their native language. They also demand to adhere to their defined rules and regulations. Hence, it is important that while translating video games, you are mindful of the legal factors to avoid legal penalties.



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