Have you ever gone abroad, purchased a DVD, and returned to only find that the regional code was wrong for your player? Similarly, video games made for France are different from games made for Japan or those made for the United States. But for games, the issue is not as easy to explain as a regional code.
Of North American sales, the US takes 85% of the video game market. However, according to Ernest Adams, a writer for Gamasutra, the best way for a game to become a blockbuster is to become an international hit. Big manufacturers and publishers are multinational; think EA (United States), Nintendo (Japan), and Ubisoft (France). But crossing the border takes a lot more than just translating the original text and voice-overs into the receiving country’s native language.
Let’s start with the more technical stuff first, and then we’ll see what sort of cultural trouble game manufacturers need to worry about.