Journey to the East: Cultural adaptation of video games for the Chinese market

Luo Dong, Carme Mangiron

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 University of Roehampton. All rights reserved. With the era of globalisation, China has become one of the most important video game markets in the world. To enter the Chinese market, culture adjustments are often made to video games in order to meet the needs and expectations of Chinese gamers. After briefly describing the characteristics of the Chinese game market, this article will focus on the process of cultural adaptation that games undergo when they are localised into Chinese, focusing on game-related aspects such as number format, food-related terminology, myths and legends, songs, the use of colours, character design, and game mechanics, as well as sociocultural, economic and political issues such as gaming habits and censorship. A number of examples are provided to illustrate how the above-mentioned aspects may affect the success of a foreign game in the Chinese market. The article concludes by highlighting the importance of cultural adaptation in game localisation into Chinese and outlining future research avenues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-168
JournalJournal of Specialised Translation
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • China
  • Cultural adaptation
  • Culturalisation
  • Game localisation
  • Video games

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