Why do you need Portuguese?

Portuguese is spoken by more than 250 million people worldwide and the fifth most used language on the internet with approximately 82 million users, and there are over 200 million more interested in learning (see map below). Although the majority of these native speakers are represented by Brazil, in Portugal alone there are over 5 million Facebook users. That's half the population and 92 % of all Internet users. That just goes to show on even that small market can earn back your investment quickly if you press the right buttons. And as a closing argument, localizing is a good deterrent to piracy in both markets as well, because you will be hard pressed to find pirated localized versions, in opposition of the english ones which are found freely all over the internet.

What do you need to know about Portuguese localization?

Brazilian and European Portuguese have differences in vocabulary, pronunciation, syntax and grammar. There is no such thing as a neutral portuguese. And to top that, they are also two very different markets with very distinct needs, that I will express below.

The full dubbing tradition in Brazil

Brazil has a massive and longstanding tradition of dubbed content. The former Herbert Richers studios were the first Disney approved studios outside the US and during the 20th century they were the largest in Latin America. Everything was dubbed, subtitles became a thing of the past. Dubbing became the standard and that's what the brazilian public is used to get in their everyday international productions. In 2009, Microsoft took a leap of faith and brought that reality into games. Nowadays, you'll be hard pressed to find any major company not dubbing their games in the Brazilian market.

Portugal as a case-study

Portugal is a small market with loads of potential. The consumer is very demanding and a big chunk of the videogames are bought by parents to their "children", even when they are well into their teens, while another very important chunk is by adults well into their thirties. Content is king. Parents want to understand what their kids are playing and grown ups want to fully enjoy the stories in their games. Sony understood this perfectly and since 2005 started to fully localize (text and audio) almost their entire release portfolio. By 2008, their market share had grown to over 90%. Companies that decided not to localize, like Microsoft with their Xbox Box products became irrelevant. While the world was surrendered to the Wii, Nintendo just couldn't make a dent in Sony's market share. By 2011 Nintendo decided to finally start localization efforts for Portugal and started to regain some ground once again. Such is the power of the sticker "Totalmente em português" (totally in portuguese) in the portuguese market. Recently, other companies, like Ubisoft, have started to follow suit.