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French Market Localization – A Foolproof Way to Increase Your Fan Base

French Market Localization – A Foolproof Way to Increase Your Fan Base

Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed, Alone in the Dark, Beyond Good and Evil, Another World (also known as Out of This World), Prince of Persia. There are just a few names that every developer and gamer should know. What do all these titles have in common? That’s right, they are the names of some of the best video games, and all of them were launched on the French market. 

The same market that is defined by the language of love and diplomacy, France ranks 7th in the top 10 nations producing the max game revenue in 2020. Besides, French is the official language for 270 million people living in 29 counties, two-thirds of the French native speakers living in African Francophone countries. Not to mention the existing markets in Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada.   

French market localization - French-speaking countries

In addition, French translation and localization also add the potential emerging markets like Rwanda, Cote D’Ivoire, and DR Congo on the lists.

What does this mean? Let’s see some information:

Stats about the French gaming industry

Consider these data:

  • the gaming industry in France is continuously booming, the country having a video game revenue of 5.32 billion Euros in 2020
  • the French video game market includes over 30 million mobile gamers, more than 37 million pc gamers, and at least 13 million console gamers
  • trivia and sports are the most popular game genres in France
  • 68% of the population in France play video games regularly
  • men and women play almost equally: 43% are female gamers and 57% are male,
  • the predominantly male audience is slightly younger (10-35 years-old males vs 21-35 years-old females as the most active audience)
  • spoken by an estimated 2,18% of users, French is the 7th most common language on the Steam gaming platform

2025, up from $2.66 billion in 2021.

Console gaming is the preferred gaming platform in France, followed by mobile games. In 2020, console gaming sales in France amounted to €2.7 billion, representing 51 % of the market.

Things to consider before expanding on the French market

Before deciding to localize for the French market, you should think about:

The Customer

In terms of e-commerce, the French market is relatively mature, but still full of opportunities for online sellers. France is characterized by several unique consumer traits:

  • in 2016, two-thirds of the French population shopped online in the last 12 months
  • according to one study, the regular French e-commerce buyer is between 35-49 years old
  • and although you would have expected those born and raised in the internet age to be the main customer base, the millennials aged 25-34 are in 2nd place

According to Statista, e-commerce user penetration for 2021 was projected at 74.1% with 78.0% expected by 2025. However, due to the unpredictable pandemic, the multiple lockdowns, and social distances restrictions in the last two years, these figures are most likely already underestimated, while eCommerce has boosted exponentially. When thinking about the French players, you should also consider that almost half of the gaming audience played video games nearly every day or more often, and the average weekly gaming time amounts to approximately 9.2 hours.

Besides, French-speaking consumers expect to shop in their native language. So, translating your game is a genuine way to be polite and show that you care. 

Politeness, respect, clarity, and promptness are traits that French consumers look for when opting for e-commerce, so keep all of this in mind. Therefore, as a game developer, you would be remiss not to translate and localize your content for the French market.

 An average of 57.25% of the French population has “reasonable proficiency” in English. This is one of the reasons why French-speaking consumers expect to shop in their native language, and your effort will be appreciated as essentially polite. Therefore, translating and localizing your content into French will give you access to a market in which almost 40% of will shop cross-border.

French market characteristics

As mentioned before, the French market is a mature one. French e-commerce was valued at $114.4 billion in 2020 and it’s expected to reach $203.57 billion by 2026. At the same time, we can say that the online market has some unique characteristics.

On one side, there are the big e-commerce players: Amazon, Vente-Privee, Cdiscount, and Auchan are frequently used by 25% of all French online shoppers. On the other side, it is also a niche dominated by the small boutiques for which the physical locations are still very important.

This means that medium-sized online sellers are not as prevalent as in the German and UK markets, which offers great growth potential for cross-border e-commerce. Multiple delivery choices and improved logistics have also played a huge role in the development of e-commerce in France. And this is because the French audience pays great attention and has very big expectations about their products’ delivery.

Speed, reliability, and convenience are very important here. A 2016 Royal Mail report showed that in France, delivery matters the most. According to the same study, 92% of French shoppers want upfront delivery information while 72% consider delivery costs as the largest barrier to purchasing.

Payment methods are another aspect to mention. Even if half of the French online shoppers prefer to pay with debit and with credit cards, PayPal is still a used by a quarter. 50% of shoppers use payment cards (Cartes Bancaires) for e-commerce purchases so you must also check them as an option.

Tips for translating and localizing your content for the French market

Decide about which kind of French you are looking for

As mentioned before, French is spoken by 270 million people living in different countries across the globe. And just in France, there are 28 regional accents. Therefore, identifying which French you are targeting should be your first step to a successful localization.

Length of the expressions

Typically, French is 30% longer than English. And due to the limited UI space on mobile devices, developers often must make adjustments. Therefore, it’s important to work with professionals who find the right balance between localization quality and user-friendliness. 

Consider formatting

English and French are different in terms of formatting, and you don’t want to skip this part when localizing your game. For example, in English quotations are usually marked with (“ ”), while in French, you could use guillemets (« »).

Also, you should always use non-breaking spaces before punctuation marks (exclamation marks, colons) as well as space separators for numbers where English uses commas (e.g. 10,000 becomes 10 000). All these details could be easy to overlook, but they are still part of good localization.

Prioritize context

When it comes to translation and localization, context is the king. Start by taking into consideration that you share your game, other product, or service to a completely new market. A market that has other values, customs, and rules.

That’s why is important to provide translators with all the context you can, so they can completely understand your product and give a great output.  

Formality

Like other languages – for example, German and Spanish, French has the formal pronoun for “you” (“vous” in official settings and “tu” in more informal situations). The titles can be used to demonstrate respect to the interlocutor.

Test your game/app/website before launching

Technically, Game Localization Testing – or Localization Quality Assurance (LQA) – is the last step when of the translation and localization process. It is essential when focusing on language testing, translation quality assessment, and UI/UX features.

In this stage, you should also consider the functional and compliance testing and make sure that all parts fit perfectly together.

Final words

When you target the French-speaking audience with your content properly localized, you can gain access to millions of online fans and buyers, resulting in increased sales and profits.

Localizing your game and the additional content for the French market may seem a challenge. However, you can successfully make this step and achieve all your business goals with the help of experienced people. Feel free to reach us, and we will gladly make these steps together with you!

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