Ubisoft Abu Dhabi has released an Arabic beta version of its mega-popular game The Settlers, accessible to all players and free to play, the French multinational game developer announced yesterday.
In preparation for the release of the award-winning game that has become “part of common culture in Europe,” says Vincent Douvier, Director of Operations for Ubisoft Abu Dhabi, the Emirates branch tailored aspects of the game to “fit the prerequisite of the players from our region.” These included some swapped interface layouts, “based on analysis of player habits in the region,” and some “localization to fit to the culture.”
Douvier elaborates: “Player habits are very specific, as for many years there were mainly English games available but all is read from right to left. This lead to a situation where players got used to using certain terms in English when speaking Arabic and certain interfaces to always be in specific places on the screen.”
The Settlers is a browser based video game wherein players set up settlements, designate tasks, and go to war with other settlers, competing for land and resources.
With the MENA version, players will be able to choose between Arabic, English, and French, reflecting the linguistic diversity of the region. “We took the decision to enable players to be able to play either in Arabic, English, or French [while] staying on the same server within the Arabic community. A player playing in Arabic and [one] playing in English will not have interfaces positioned in the same way…. Yet they can play together,” Douvier says.
“If I am not mistaken, we are the first to propose this in the region,” he claims.
As regional players begin to use The Settlers, the Ubisoft Abu Dhabi team will continue to adapt the localization of the game, “gathering feedback from our players and decide with them what should change and what should not.”
Up next for the Emirati branch? To continue to “enrich our players’ lives,” says Douvier. “At Ubisoft, we want Arabic players to be pleased by our games and to really feel the difference” from the English versions. Also, “events are in the works, as are animations and of course more and more content. All these will be culturalized as much as we can.”
Check out the game’s trailer here.