2023

NYX Awards - 2023 Gold Winner Winner

Black Mesa Language Translation Project

Entrant Company

Infernozilla

Category

Strategic Campaign - Strategic Communications / Other__

Client's Name

Crowbar Collective

Country / Region

United States

Experience Level

Agency

The popular remake of Half-Life named Black Mesa had the vision of bringing the game to every corner of the world's language and culture. To do this, it needed to translate the game into dozens of languages, however, the game utilizes a very old localization system, making it difficult for translation experts and agencies to work on said translations. The game also has 206,033 unique words to translate from the UI to closed captions and a multitude of other strings. All these characters combined in translating this to the game in dozens of languages would’ve cost the developers 100s of thousands of dollars. As community and marketing experts, Infernozilla took on the challenge to translate the game into what is today with over 30 languages within 1.5 Months and reduced the cost to only $500 by mobilizing the community.

Once the platform and its translation strings were set up, we have done a set of tasks to make it successful:

We created multiple visual assets and promotional materials and promoted this campaign over the game's platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Discord, and Steam

We set up different channels and categories for our team to work closely with us to support voluntary translators and any issues they experience

We hosted various milestone giveaways and contests competing for one language over the other giving top translators prizes

For languages that have been translated, we recruited the top translators of that language to be a voluntary proofreader and have a quality assurance process in place for completed translations

In the end, we were able to translate 6,180,990 words equating to 30 successfully translated languages with the help of an overall active 1396 volunteers from all over the world. The community even requested that we redo the Russian and Spanish languages that were originally translated by a professional localization company as it was riddled with errors and missed video game context. So these 2 languages were retranslated and now the community gets to enjoy them error free in an immersive experience with their own language.

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