The Worldwide Accessibility of Bezier Games

by Ted Alspach January 01, 2023

The Worldwide Accessibility of Bezier Games

The Worldwide Accessibility of Bezier Games
by Renée Harris

One of the most pivotal developments in the growth of a boardgame publisher is realizing your game has become popular enough that gamers in different regions wish to have your title in their own language. While Bezier Games is an American publisher, run by native English speakers, anyone looking to sit down at the table to play one of our games has the choice among 25 different languages! Our various titles have been licensed and translated into more than 2 dozen languages and can be found on every major continent.

 

What does it mean to license a game?

Indisputably, a truly exciting time for a publisher is when you have worked hard to create a new game and excitedly bring it to market. We are always delighted if this title generates lots of buzz and is received with fanfare. This delight is compounded when we are contacted by foreign publishers who would like to bring this game to their market. What an honor!

When a game is licensed, it is an agreement by the game’s publisher to allow someone else to translate their work into that language, manufacture it, and then distribute it in their region. There can be only one licensee per region. So, for instance, if we license a game to a French publisher, no other publisher can have this game for the regions agreed upon, like France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada, for example. The French license is taken for that title, but other languages like Korean or German would be available, if sought. 

French titles CABO from Origames, Suburbia from Lucky Duck, Whistle Stop from La Boîte de Jeu, and One Night Ultimate Vampire from Ravensburger

 

How do you license a game?

When we license a game, we are partnering with another publisher to bring this game to their market. We take this responsibility very seriously. This translated title is the face of Bezier Games to gamers in that region, and we want them to have the same magical feeling we have of opening a well-made game with beautiful components and thoughtful rules. This means that we need to have structures in place to oversee the various steps and ensure the process runs smoothly. It also means we need to know our potential partners well.

This is where my role as the Licensing Manager comes into play. It is my job to be the liaison between Bezier Games and each of the international publishers who are inquiring after an available license. I spend time getting to know them, I look at their track record of localizations, and I make sure that they are a good fit for us and that we are a good fit for them. Each of our partners is an extension of our brand and they become our ambassadors in their respective countries. We love getting to know our partners and helping them through every step of the process in making their licensed title a success for their region!

 

 

Does a licensed copy differ much from the English?

We work very hard to have the licensed versions of our games look and feel just like the English version, with the only difference being all text has been translated into the licensed language. We ask our partners to keep the localized version as close to the English copy as possible. This means components that are not language-dependent, like the transparent track tiles in Maglev Metro and the airships in Whistle Mountain, will look exactly like their English counterparts. But you’ll find the rules fully translated into the licensed language, along with cards, tiles, and anything else with text.

 

A Bulgarian speaker would open their Bulgarian copy of Silver and be delighted to see the box cover, art, GameTrayz™, and metal amulet token are the same as the English, but their box bottom, rules, and card text are fully in Bulgarian! There is no language barrier keeping them from enjoying a Bezier Games title, and we love playing a role in conquering the language barrier and including them at the game table! 

Bulgarian Silver from Paladium Games won Bulgarian Game of the Year 2022! 

We can maintain this high level of quality by asking our partners to print at the same manufacturer as the English, thus ensuring that these localized versions were created by a factory that knows the title well. When you open a licensed version of a Bezier Games game, it will look just like its English counterpart, but is fully accessible to the gamers of that region. 

We have also had to tackle some interesting language differences when we needed to localize the apps for our titles of One Night Ultimate Werewolf and Werewords! There are a lots of changes to build in when converting these apps to Asian languages that are not based in the Roman Alphabet or a language like Hebrew that reads from right to left!

Hebrew One Night Ultimate Werewolf from Hakubia Games'

 

Which games have been the most licensed?

Are you interested in a game of Whistle Mountain? This stunning game has been translated into seven languages besides English. 

Fancy a fast game of New York Slice?  You can compete for pizza slices in six languages. 

Want to expand your borough in Suburbia? You could build this using one of eight languages.

Some titles even have more than one language in a box!

 

Nordic One Night Ultimate Werewolf contains rules for Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, and Danish

But without a doubt, our most licensed title is our flagship product, One Night Ultimate Werewolf! This gem of a party game has been translated into 19 languages!

Just a few of the many One Night Ultimate Werewolf International versions

We love that we have been able to increase our audience and fan base around the world through the strategic partnership with international publishers. The value these publishers create for us when they bring our games to life in new regions cannot be overstated. These relationships are incredibly important to us as a company, and we are always honored when a new international partner joins the Bezier Games family!




Ted Alspach
Ted Alspach

Author