The Inner Workings Of Capcom’s Localization Department


Over on the company’s community site, Capcom Director of Localization, Peter Fabiano, has written a blog post detailing how he runs Capcom’s localization department and some of the challenges faced during the localization process. He also touches upon what Capcom expect of the people they hire to work with their localization group.


Fabiano says that the localization team at Capcom’s Osaka headquarters is part of R&D. “We try to integrate the production teams and get them to understand the importance of taking their games and adapting them for the foreign markets,” he writes. “We need to go beyond general text translation and provide them with information that is beneficial to creating a game that is relevant to the target users. Due to a number of internal and cultural factors, this can be quite challenging.”


Fabiano also discusses the size of the company’s localization team. “The Localization Team consists of about 30 people split into 2 main groups: Localization and Communications,” he reveals. “The Communications Team has a number of functions, but in general, they are in charge of ensuring that teams are in sync with each other and with our overseas partners by providing necessary information to relevant parties.”


The rest of the localization team consists of 5 Project Leads, 2 English Editors, 10 European Localization Experts, and 2 Japanese Localization Coordinators. In the case of some projects, project leads are placed on the project team to help make a game feel like it was developed with overseas audiences in mind. Feedback is provided to the development team on script, UI, design and so on. In the case of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, for example, English text was the main focus, with Japanese written afterwards.


As far as being hired is concerned, Fabiano writes: “If you want to be a localization expert, then I suggest studying writing and Japanese. Take courses at school that focus on literature and writing, for example. We ask for writing samples and have a trial exam that we require from all applicants. Being well read also helps, because the subjects of the texts we translate run the gamut from science to literature, history to philosophy.”


You can read the full post over at Capcom’s community site, linked to above.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.