The localization, transcreation and adaptation of cultural realia in video games: The case of cultural (re)presentation in Arena of Valor

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The implementation of localization strategies is crucial for ensuring the success of software products in diverse markets. Over the last decade, Chinese mobile games have made notable strides in overseas markets, gaining significant momentum. Most of these creations were either first developed with Chinese players in mind, and then adjusted to better suit the preferences and expectations of international players, or crafted from scratch to cater international audiences. However, a small number of such games were developed via a hybrid approach, requiring a mix of localization, transcreation and adaptation processes. This chapter qualitatively explores some of the methods of cultural transcreation employed to deal with in-game realia (Pettini, 2021) in the mobile video game Arena of Valor (2016). The notion of cultural representation (Hall, 1997) will be applied to this specific use case in relation to creation and transcreation to highlight how video game localization approaches can transform Chinese entertainment products, and the possible effects of such changes on intercultural exchange. Finally, this chapter aims to bring attention to the challenges of implementing transcreative methods, as well as the potential areas for development in mobile game localization and transcreation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Perspectives in Media Translation
Subtitle of host publicationTranscreating in the Digital Age
EditorsLoukia Kostopoulou, Parthena Charalampidou
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages20
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 Sept 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Cultural Studies

User-Defined Keywords

  • video game localization
  • transcreation
  • adaptation
  • cultural realia
  • cultural representation


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