Darkest Dungeon is on just about every platform these days, which is great if you speak English. If you don’t, you have to wait for the localisation process – and according to the review bombing of the roguelike on Steam in the past 48 hours, the Korean translation isn’t very good.
Developers Red Hook Studios released a hefty patch for the PC version of Darkest Dungeon this week, coinciding with the release of The Color of Madness DLC. To go with that, Japanese and Korean localisations were added, which Red Hook outsourced to a third party.
Localisation is increasingly important for indie devs: the potential of Asian markets, China in particular, means it’s worth paying for a quality translation. Korean gamers were less than impressed with the end result, however, and responded by tanking the game’s rating on Steam, going as far to describe the game as unplayable.
The official Darkest Dungeon Korean translation is really terrible.
It's even worse than English-Korean translator in Twitter ????
They translated the word "vigor" into "lust". I know that vigor has that nuance, but it's in the description of Dog Treats… Dog Treats are Viagra now pic.twitter.com/wsF7aDgEvr
— Emolis (@emolis_7) June 19, 2018
— [유적은우리가좍]현미밥 (@Kyrlilium) June 20, 2018
@RedHookStudios oh my god, your korean translation for darkest dungeon is.. really bad. maybe all koreans can’t play with this translation.
— DoucYoung Joung(정덕영) (@brainhacking) June 19, 2018
Red Hook responded in short order, saying that they weren’t expecting such a reaction after paying for “professional translation”. “We are committed to improving the quality of the Korean translation, and are beginning our investigation into how to do that. (Apologies, none of us in the team are Korean speakers.) We hope that our Korean fans will understand that we hear your feedback and we are taking steps to improve the translation,” they wrote.
Commenters noted that Korean players had offered to do a fan translation of Darkest Dungeon, which Valve supports through the Steam Translation Server. Red Hook opted for a professional job, however, which makes sense.
The best Red Hook can do is push for a better translation, whether that’s by reconnecting with fans, pressuring their existing service for a better output, or by hiring another firm to re-localise the game. Red Hook have announced that they’re working to improve the Korean localisation “as soon as possible”, although scrubbing through every line of text isn’t a job that can be done quickly.