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Game localisation services
  • Damien Yoccoz

Now Is the Time to Localize Your Game for Brazil

Brazil is the 5th largest population in the world with more than 66 million gamers – almost as many people as the entire UK population.

The country’s strong economic drive is fueling a drastic uptake in the number of gamers who are willing to spend money on their favorite platforms.

This rise to gaming maturity hasn’t gone unnoticed for key actors of the industry such as Sony, Ubisoft or Activision and big things are going to happen over the next couple of years.

In this article we’re looking at why now is the time to localize your game for Brazil.

Article outline

1 - The Brazilian gaming market

2 - What do Brazilian gamers want from localization?

3 - Keys to successful Brazilian Portuguese localization


Source: Newzoo

In 2017, Brazil became the world’s 13th biggest gaming market, overtaking Australia. Brazil’s status as an emerging economy means there’s plenty of more growth to come, too.

Look at the table above and every gaming market worth more than Brazil right now is a developed economy with less room for growth.

Brazil’s huge population and rapid development leave plenty of room for growth beyond its existing 66 million gamers – and this is why industry giants like Sony and Ubisoft are so excited about the country’s prospects.

The majority of gamers in Brazil are women

Source: Pesquisa Game Brasil 2016

One of the most interesting features of Brazil’s gaming market is that more women in the country play games than men – something to keep in mind as we look at the most popular types of games in Brazil.

Strategy and adventure are the most popular game genres in Brazil

Source: Pesquisa Game Brasil 2016

As you can see from the graphic above, the most popular game genre in Brazil is strategy. However, there’s variation between the two genders.

Action is the most popular genre among male gamers while racing comes second and strategy third. However, racing drops down to fifth for female gamers in Brazil and there’s no showing for sports in the top five genres for females.

Mobile gaming first

Another key feature of the market in Brazil is the platforms people choose to play their games on.

Mobile has only recently overtaken PC and console gaming, leaving a similar market share between the three platform choices. Smartphone gaming is expected to continue its growth over the coming years so this gap will increase with time, but not as drastically as you might think.

Android still dominates the mobile OS war in Brazil with more than 83% of smartphone users owning an Android device (Statista, 2017).

So Android gives the furthest reach by far, but iOS users typically spend more on in-app purchases.

Interestingly, a large portion of Brazil’s console gamers are still playing on previous generation consoles – partly due to the cost of the latest devices. However, Brazil’s economic rise is powering a second rush for console gaming as more people can afford the latest generation devices.

A huge and increasing market

Source: Steamspy

Aside from Brazil having the world’s 5th largest population, Brazilian gamers make up the fourth largest population on Steam.

According to Statista, with an expected growth rate of 6.0%, Brazil’s mobile gaming market should be worth US$387m by 2020.

"Brazil’s game industry is growing. According to App Annie, when it comes to downloads, Brazil is the largest BRIC country for Google Play; only the United States download more. The English proficiency is however relatively low in Brazil. Only 11 % communicate in English. As access to the internet grows, many children and young adults play video games. A large market, increasing incomes, and a growing technical infrastructure will give a translation into Brazilian Portuguese a potentially high return on investment."

DID YOU KNOW IT? - The 2nd biggest video game convention in the world after Gamescom is the Brasil Game Show which drew more than 300,000 people in 2017.


Source: Pesquisa Game Brasil 2016

If you’re wondering how important it is to Brazilian gamers to have games in their native language, localization is actually the 4th most important criteria for people who buy games in the country.

Four profiles, various expectations

Before we can attempt to describe how this big and growing community feels, it’s important to put it in context first. There are four main types of gamers in the current market:

  • High English level - A : not particularly concerned with localization, routinely playing games in English only.

  • High English level - B: care about localization but generally prefer to play in English, mainly due to poor quality in localization and dubbing. Despite a high level of English, these gamers often experience poor localization problems in multiplayer scenarios with gamers of lower proficiency.

  • Good English level: prefer Brazilian for a better and more relaxed immersion in the game and firmly believe it improves the gaming experience.

  • Poor English level: the majority of Brazilian gamers who rely on quality localization to fully understand the game and enjoy the true experience. They may be capable of completing a game with basic translation, but won’t be able to engage with the storyline or the wider experience you’ve worked hard to create.

This is an oversimplified summary of Brazil’s gaming population but it gives you an idea of some of the roles your localization strategy needs to play. Importantly, it’s the majority of gamers who rely on localization to enjoy the best of titles but most of them are used to wanting more from major releases.

Do or do not, there is no try

According to the gamers we spoke to, few are satisfied with the localization and dubbing of games for Brazilian audiences. This shows how far short of expectations the majority of publishers are falling - with a few exceptions, such as The Last of Us, The Witcher 3, and some titles from Ubisoft and Blizzard.