[New Publication] The cultural localization of video games in Iran

By Amir Arsalan Zoraqi, Movahede Sadat Mousavi


Localization is the process through which products are tailored to the socio-cultural values of the recipient locale. This study seeks to shed light on the practice of video games cultural localization in Iran by focusing on two of the most prominent software localization and publication companies in Iran, namely and . Furthermore, identifying the types of content considered inappropriate by the Iranian game localization supervisory bodies constitutes another aim of the present study. To this end, six officially localized video games are compared and contrasted with their original English counterparts. As for the results, the modifications were observed at both diegetic and non-diegetic levels. Modifications revolved around the following themes: religious issues, socio-cultural issues, and socio-political references linked to Iran’s legal and religious frameworks. Regarding the strategies, the localized video games were modified by removing the cut scenes, applying graphical changes, and editing out the original soundtrack.