Korean Fans Review Bomb Darkest Dungeon Following Poor Localisation

Korean Fans Review Bomb Darkest Dungeon Following Poor Localisation

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.

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.


  • Funny how the same thing happens in the other direction, any thing to english is 50/50 whether any good.

  • They spent over a year getting it done and they hired a cheap as hell Chinese company to do the Korean translation. Why not hire a Korean company? Who knows!

    I love the game and Redhook seem cool, but this is a colossal fuck up.

  • Bleh, review bombing is the best (worst) example of the minority yelling loud enough to confuse people that they are the minority. The majority of those reviews seem to have 0.0 hours played in the last two weeks, they haven’t played it, then made up their own mind, they just spewed what ever their “influencers” told them to.

    • I partly disagree. It’s incredibly useful for a discerning consumer to identify issues with the product.

      You obviously take context into account, and include your own estimate of the signal-to-noise ration on certain issues getting the most attention rather than taking every single opinion as gospel, but brigading over certain issues certainly helps boost the signal of the issue they’re concerned about. (Eg: if all the reviews for a game I’ve seen are, “OMG SJWs GONE MAD! it’s probably better to hop into the discussion page instead, or look at metacritic’s publication scores. If everyone’s complaining about it being an example of a truly shitty PC port, maybe pass for a couple months.)

      Thing that bothers me is if the reviews aren’t separated by region. A shitty Korean localization won’t matter dick to English speakers.

      • My problem is I all I have learned from this review is that there’s a poor translation of a description of dog food. Because so many are echoing one complaint, there’s literally no other examples in the above reviews. I have little doubt there is actually issues with the translation as a whole, but review bombers dilutes the review section and buries the comments of people that actually put time into coming up with their own opinion.

  • Meanwhile, we in the West have been used to getting trash localizations for Decades, or even in the last year. (Looking at you, NISA)

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!