Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2032-6904
  • E-ISSN: 2032-6912


Over the course of the last three decades the entertainment software industry has become a multibillion dollar industry and a worldwide phenomenon. The United States and Japan have traditionally been the main players in this industry, which owes part of its global success to internationalisation and the associated localisation processes. Due to the cultural distance between Japan and Western countries, Japanese games often undergo extensive cultural adaptation in order to market them successfully in those territories. This paper analyses the localisation of Japanese console games. After presenting a brief overview of the history of the localisation of Japanese games it describes the main internationalisation strategies adopted by Japanese developers and publishers. It also explores the main localisation strategies applied to Japanese games, i.e. domesticating or exoticising, exploring the cultural adaptation processes to which some Japanese games have been subject, and examines how critics and players reacted to the localised versions. Finally, it concludes with a reflection on the extent to which Japanese games should be culturally adapted for their international release in order to strike the right balance between domesticating and exoticising strategies taking into account different factors, such as the genre of the game, the gaming preferences of the target players, and the intended audience.

This article is made available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): cultural adaptation; localization strategies; video games
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