Ukrainian Language in Games: Statistics

SBT Localization Team decided to conduct a survey to find out more about the attitude to Ukrainian localization in video games. There also were a couple of questions about the activity of our team (we won’t publish it here, but we considered it). We want to thank everyone, who helped us by answering the questions. Now, let’s get down to business.

First of all, despite a rather large audience, we’ve got a much smaller number of answers –only 329 respondents took part. Also, we pay your attention to the fact that some questions have been left unanswered. The results of this survey cannot be considered as the representation of 100% users’ opinions.

Ukrainian Localization in General

General attitude to Ukrainian localization

The quality of Ukrainian localization is generally good basing on the answers.

  • 51,7% – Not perfect but good enough. I like most of them.

  • 39,1% – The quality is great. I don’t understand, why someone’s being picky.

  • 5,2% – From what Ive seen, the quality was satisfactory. It is OK to use it.

  • 1,2% – From what Ive seen, the quality was poor. I don’t use it.

Other answers:

  • It is cool that there is Ukrainian localization. Havent seen a lowquality Ukrainian localization.

  • I like it. When I see something that confuses meI ask, draw attention to it, and suggest alternatives on the server of Ukrainian Localization in Discord.

  • Ill be using it anyway because I am sure that it will get better.

  • I don’t play, but I believe that Ukrainian localization is very important.

  • The main problem is the font because nearly all the Cyrillic fonts are eye bleeding.

  • Didn’t see Ukrainian localization.

  • It doesn’t matter at all.

  • I don’t like it. (answered in Russian)

  • I don’t care. (answered in Russian)

What interests you in Ukrainian localization?

One could give several answers to this question. Here’s what we’ve got:

  • 88,9% – video games,

  • 80,6% – movies and TV series,

  • 66,2% – books,

  • 52,3% – mobile applications,

  • 34,8% – comics.

Other answers:

  • 6 answers (1,8%) – ‘Everything’ (explanation: ‘It is hard for kids, because they dont know English yet, and cannot read/watch/listen to in Russian,’ ‘I am for total Ukrainization,’ ‘I use Ukrainian wherever it is possible,’ ‘I have a dream that one day we won’t be suffering from huge amount of Russian language, Surzhyk, and absence of the text localization.);

  • 2 answers (0,6%) – nothing (answered in Russian);

  • 2 answers (0,6%) – board games;

  • 1 (0,3% ) – manga;

  • 1 (0,3%) – ranobe;

  • 1 (0,3%) – software;

  • 1 (0,3%) – website content;

  • 1 (0,3%) – ‘I am not interested in localization.’

Games Store

The most popular game store

No wonder we have such a high percentage of answers about Ukrainian localization in video games because it turned out that the vast majority of respondents, who value Ukrainian language, use the Steam game store. Steam is the only game store that has a Ukrainian interface and can filter games by Ukrainian language. Maybe other game stores should take it into consideration?

Which game store is the most commonly used?

  • 76,5% – Steam

  • 3,9% – GOG

  • 2,6% – Epic Games

There also were answers mentioning other game stores or stating of nonusing them:

  • PlayStation – 36 (11,6%)

  • Steam – 6 (1,9%))

  • I buy disks – 3 (0,9%)

  • Nintendo – 3 (0,9%)

  • Uplay – 2 (0,6%)

  • Microsoft – 2 (0,6%)

  • GOG – 2 (0,6%)

  • I don’t use any of the game stores – 2 (0,6%)

  • I play on my smartphone – 2 (0,6%)

  • I don’t buy, I download from torrents. – 1 (0,3%)

  • Xbox – 1 (0,3%)

  • Origin – 1 (0,3%)

  • I don’t play games – 1 (0,3%)

  • Anywhere, where Ukrainian language is available – (0,3%)

Interface language

The next question was about the language interface in the favourite game store. Here’s what we received:

  • 78,2% answered Ukrainian. From the previous answers, we’ve found out that the substantial majority of respondents use Steam, so it is rather obvious that the Ukrainian interface prevails here.

  • 10,4% – English.

  • 8,3% – Russian.

Other answers:

  • I don’t buy games, so I don’t care – 1 (0,3%)

  • Russian, because it is impossible to change it on PlayStation – 3 (0,9%)

  • Ukrainian and English – 3 (0,9%) (clarification: Steam – Ukrainian, GOG – English)

  • Polish – 1 (0,3%)

  • If there’s no Ukrainian language, I am not using it – 1 (0,3%)

If not Ukrainian language, then which one?

Since Ukrainian language is available only on Steam, we were curious about which language do users choose in other game stores?

If there’s a choice, then:

  • 63,1% choose English language

  • 24,3% – Russian (there are also some notes that Russian language is chosen by default and it’s impossible to change it, or just don’t care)

  • 10,2% – don’t buy in the stores where Ukrainian language is unavailable

Other answers:

  • Polish or English – 3 (0,9%)

  • German – 1 (0,3%)

  • Don’t buy games at all – 1 (0,3%)

  • Russian because of poor knowledge of English – 1 (0,3%)

Ukrainian Language in Video Games

How important is Ukrainian language in video games?

  • 74% answered they always choose full Ukrainian localization if available.

  • 7,3% answered they use Ukrainian subtitles along with an original voice-over. Hmm, we and dubbing actors thought it is a real pleasure to both read and listen to Ukrainian language

  • 5, 2% answered they dont buy games, which dont have Ukrainian language.

  • 4,3% buy games with Ukrainian language to support it yet choose other languages to play. It is hard to comment on that

  • 2,1% answered, that another language is closer to them (Russian, Polish, Hungarian, etc.), so they don’t care about Ukrainian language.

Otheranswers:

  • 5 answers (1,5%), which stated Ukrainian language is crucial and they always choose it if available (official or nonofficial), or even localize games themselves.

  • 4 answers (1,2%) ‘I don’t play games at all.’

  • 3 answers (0,9%), which stated they choose English language or the source language of the game. The reasons are the following: 1) there’s no Ukrainian language available; 2) in this way they improve their foreign language.

  • 3 answers (0,9%), which stated the language in the game doesn’t matter.

  • 2 answers (0,6%), which stated they choose Ukrainian localization depending on its quality and their mood.

  • 2 answers (0,6%), which stated Ukrainian localization is critically important but there was no clear explanation why it is so.

  • 1 answer (0,3%), which stated Ukrainian language is one of the criteria for choosing games.

  • And one more answer (0,3%), which stated the respondent supports Ukrainian localization yet chooses only own translations since others are of poor quality.

Games with Ukrainian localization

The next question was about the general number of games with Ukrainian localization.

So how many games with Ukrainian localization do our respondents have?

  • 32,4% – 5-10 games

  • 28,6% – 1-3 games

  • 15,7% – more than 10 games

  • 11,3% – more than 20 games

  • 6,9% – don’t have games with Ukrainian localization

  • 5% – all the games I possess have Ukrainian localization (there is some uncertainty though because respondents didn’t mention the exact quantity of games they possess; nevertheless, it is good news that there are such players).

Games with Ukrainian localization by SBT Localization

We also asked whether the respondents have games with our localization. This was the multiple-choice question.

The results are following:

  • 61,9% respondents have Metro: Last Light or Metro 2033

  • 27,3% dont have any of suggested games

  • 16,8% – Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition

  • 14,9% – Ruiner

  • 14, 3% – Cradle

  • 14% – The Sinking City

  • 8,9% – Hand of Fate

  • 6,7% – Ash of Gods

  • 4,8% – Siege of Dragonspear

  • 4,1% – Curious Expedition

  • 3,2% – Naval Action

  • 1% – Arktika.1

Otheranswers:

  • Bastion – 3 (0,95%)

  • Insurgency – 2 (0,63%)

  • Bravada – 1 (0,3%)

  • King’s Bounty: Crossworlds – 1 (0,3%)

  • FTL – 1 (0,3%)

  • I am waiting for The Sinking City in STEAM or GOG.

There is also an answer ‘I don’t have any of those. I’ve never heard of most of the listed games, and those I’m familiar with have a bad translation.’

Why not Ukrainian?

Then we asked about the reason for choosing a foreign language in games. This was the multiple-choice question.

  • 76,3% answered that since Ukrainian localization is unavailable, they choose the language they understand

  • 32% prefer source language

  • 8,6% play only in Ukrainian

  • 3,7% answered Ukrainian isn’t their native language, so they prefer the localization in their native language

  • 0,9% don’t like Ukrainian localization.

Otheranswers:

  • I am not interested in games – 2 (0,6%)

  • To extend knowledge of other languages – 1 (0,3%)

When the game doesn’t have Ukrainian localization

This question is partially intersecting with the question about the game store interface language. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at the results. This was the multiple-choice question.

If there is no Ukrainian localization:

  • 77,4% will choose English language

  • 42,2% – will choose Russian language

  • 2,1% – won’t play at all.

Otheranswers:

  • will choose Polish – 6 (1,8%)

  • depending on the source language (for example, if we are talking about The Witcher, then they will choose Polish, if it is Kingdom Come: Deliverance, then Czech) – 3 (0,9%)

  • will choose German – 3

  • will choose source language + English subtitles

  • will choose Japanese

  • will choose the language they are currently learning (Spanish)

  • will choose any language but not Russian

Spread and Development of Ukrainian Localization

How well-known is Ukrainian localization of video games?

Quite often we notice that a lot of people don’t even know about video game translators just talking to people at various events. We asked how long had people been knowing about Ukrainian localization. Here’s what we’ve got:

  • 34,7% found out about Ukrainian localizations 2-3 years ago

  • 32,8% – more than 5 years ago

  • 11,7% – last year

  • 11,7% – nearly 10 years ago

  • 6,4% – this year

  • 2,8% – just now.

It is great that thanks to this survey more people found out about Ukrainian localization and us in particular

How have you found out about translators?

How have our respondents found out about translators and Ukrainian localizations? This was the multiple-choice question.

  • 46,8% news feed

  • 40,6% Toloka

  • 28,9% Steam

  • 21,2% Internet search

  • 18,5% from friends

Otheranswers:

  • I am a former/current amateur translator – 5 (1,5%)

  • From Ukrainian speaking streamers – 3 (0,9%)

  • PlayUA – 3 (0,9%)

  • Facebook – 3 (0,9%)

  • PlayStation Україна (a group in Facebook) – 2 (0,6%)

  • Discord – 2 (0,6%)

  • An advertisement at Ternopil University – 1 (0,3%)

  • An advertisement in the subway – 1 (0,3%)

Contribution to Ukrainian localization

How do our respondents contribute to Ukrainian localization? This was the multiple-choice question.

  • 60,7% – Support with good words and share.

  • 52,1% – I am an active user of Ukrainian language.

  • 24,9% – I buy Ukrainian product even though I don’t use it.

  • 22% – I write to developers asking for Ukrainian localization.

  • 20,4% – I am a sponsor.

  • 19,8% – I am a translator/editor/dubbing actor/technical support.

Otheranswers:

  • Active user – 2

  • Translator – 3

  • I don’t help – 3

  • I mention localizations in my articles – 2

  • Streaming in Ukrainian

  • Share

  • I am a developer and help with some technical issues.

  • Like

  • I am a Ukrainian comics publisher

  • Once I enter civil life, I’ll contribute on Patreon…

  • I demand service in Ukrainian

Contributing to the spread of Ukrainian localization

What boosts the spread of Ukrainian localizations in video games? This was the multiple-choice question.

  • 84% believe one should ask developers to add Ukrainian localization

  • 71,2% – translators support

  • 65,3% – localization using (if any)

  • 62,9% – game purchasing (to draw attention to the market)

  • 45,1% – non-official localizations creation

  • 35,3% – purchase games only if there’s Ukrainian localization available.

Otheranswers:

  • Ukrainian localization lobby – 4

  • governmental support – 2

  • Ukrainian product advertisement – 2

  • searching for sponsors

  • helping developers to localize top-selling games

  • It is a waste of money (answered in Russian)

  • Nothing. The topic is interesting to a small circle of people (answered in Russian)

  • support of the Ukrainian speaking gaming communities

  • doing everything that possible

  • translating obscenities

  • usage of Ukrainian localization if available because developers see the statistics

  • all mentioned above.

Conclusion

What could be said: it is obvious why people of foreign origin are not interested in Ukrainian language, but it is strange why Ukrainians themselves are not interested in their own language.

Those of you, who have never heard of Ukrainian localization, we suggest using language filter in Steam or taking a look at Catalogue of Steam games with Ukrainian localization, or to using game stores where you can purchase games with Ukrainian localization, which is almost always great and made with love.

If you want to learn more about us, welcome to the page About Us. You can also contribute to the spread and development of Ukrainian localization and become our patron on Patreon.

Its a pity, but a lot of people believe that video games are only for kids. That is why organisations, which could help us somehow, dont believe that video game is a rather powerful instrument in language preservation and development. Hence, we often are forced to translate games for free or for a token fee.

People sometimes ask why SBT Localization (as well as other teams of translators) don’t translate AAA games or why don’t we help game developers with Ukrainian localization. Oh, looks like we are so bad guys and just don’t want to help and never ask Ubisoft, Bethesda, Blizzard, CD Project and other game developers about Ukrainian localization of their games. Dear gamers, it all depends on you, whether there will be Ukrainian localization or not. When you buy games and use Ukrainian localization, you show the developer you are a responsible customer who deserves a game localized into your native language. If you use other languages, you show that the language doesn’t matter to you. If you want to find out more about it, please read this article. .

We are very grateful for your words of support. Our team works round the clock for you to get Ukrainian localization of the highest quality. We remind that SBT Localization welcomes talented people. If you are eager to join us, please use this form or contact us on FacebookTwitterDiscord.

Ukrainization of the Universe marches on!

29.12.19

Ukrainian Language in Games: Statistics

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