8th Sep 2021

Staff Spotlight: Women in Localization

At Keywords Studios we are proud of all women working with passion and sharing their expertise to help building the best video games in the market.

This week we had a great chat with Ana Maria Pleșca and Tatiana Miu, who both work at our Dublin studio in Localization.

We touched several topics, from work to women representation in the video game industry.

Here’s what they had to say:

What does a typical day at work involve?

Ana Maria: I’m a Localization Coordinator in the Dublin team. My role involves day-to-day operations, providing support to the localization team and helping them to offer a culturally accurate experience for players.

I love playing support characters in-game and I am trying to use those skills out-of-game too, in the work environment.

I feel lucky to be able to work in the games industry, which is something I am passionate about.

Tatiana: I’m a Localization Project Manager. The simplest explanation of the role would be that I act as a facilitator, making sure the localization process goes smoothly for our assigned languages.

This is probably what I love most about the role: while it is very process-oriented, there is also a lot of communication and I enjoy helping people and setting them up for success, so they can provide the best localized experiences to our players.

As a long-time gamer myself, I appreciate it when gaming and localization companies go that extra mile to make that content feel tailored to the player’s market.

The video game industry has traditionally been seen as a male-dominated field. What has your experience been in Localization?

Ana Maria: The player base and the games industry are seen as traditionally dominated by male players but things are evolving towards a more inclusive environment.

From my experience, I never felt as a minority in the localization field. It’s welcoming and open to anyone who loves games.

Tatiana: Based on my experience, I would not describe localization as a male-oriented field. If you think of the gaming industry as more related to STEM disciplines, I can see why that would be the general image – I thought the same before discovering there is a whole other world related to video games, other than development.

Localization is quite different and I think it has to do with the background of people entering this field, which I think is related to humanities more often than STEM.

Ana Maria Pleșca and Tatiana Miu, Keywords Studios Women in Localization article
Ana Maria Plesca and Tatiana Miu

Why do you think Localization is key in video games and other forms of entertainment?

Ana Maria: Bringing players together, regardless of language, is important for evolving the player fan base.

Many people think localization is just translation but it’s much more. It plays a key role in conveying the soul of a game, transcending the cultural barriers.

Tatiana: As I mentioned, we don’t have as much video game content in my language compared to the more established markets. As a player, this makes you appreciate it even more when a company puts in the effort to localize their content into your language, you feel seen and acknowledged in a way.

That is why it’s important to provide the best possible quality as well: with less content provided in a language, it can be damaging to the experience if players or viewers feel like the content was not tailored and adapted properly.

That’s where the difference between translation and localization comes in.

Tell us more about working with other women in Localization – what do you think is unique about this network?

Ana Maria: The passion for games brings us together. We are like-minded women working on games which we love to play outside of work, so that is a great environment to make good friends.

Tatiana: Thinking about video games localization specifically, I love how everyone is so passionate about what they do.

You are aware that your work isn’t just taking words from one language and translating them into another, or just making sure your processes work; you’re helping create tailored experiences for players like yourself, so you get emotionally invested in a way.

It has also been great to see more initiatives highlighting the role of women in the industry, I am sure it will help anyone looking ‘from the outside in’ realise that this is not quite the male-dominated industry they might have expected.

That being said, there is still much work to be done around representation.

Why is it important to see more women working in games?

Ana Maria: Girl power! We are challenging traditional ideas, doing what we love and not shying away from fields that are generally seen as male oriented.

Tatiana: For the same reason it is important to see this anywhere else: representation and showing others that this is not something inaccessible.

If you are a woman considering going into the gaming industry – in whatever area, not just localization – it’s great to see success stories from people like yourself. I think it gives you the extra bit of courage to just go for it.

What advice would you give to other women considering a career in Localization?

Ana Maria: It’s a great experience! If you are passionate about video games and want to work in the industry, chase the opportunities.

If you’re a translator or tester for a language that is not frequently localized in games, try to also grow other types of skills to better your chances.

Tatiana: If it is something you are interested in, definitely go for it! It’s a great environment, you are sure to meet like-minded people along the way, and you get to do something you’re passionate about.

This can be the difference between ‘just a job’ and something that makes you excited to show up to work every day.

Which changes would you like to see in the industry in future?

Ana Maria: Embracing the work-from-home option on a long-term basis would be a great change in the industry.

Tatiana: I’d like to see more women in leadership roles. I think there is still some work to be done when it comes to representation at that level.

If you are interested in a role at Keywords Studios, you can find current open positions on our Careers page.

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