Localization Case Study

AdVenture Capitalist

AdVenture Capitalist is a free-to-play clicker game from the Canadian company Hyper Hippo Entertainment. The project was initially released in 2014 as a browser game; in 2015, it was released on mobile platforms and Steam. Over the past 10 years, AdVenture Capitalist has been downloaded over 10 million times on Android devices alone, plus won numerous awards, including Google Play’s Editors’ Choice and Facebook’s Best Instant Game of the Year.

Together with Hyper Hippo, the Inlingo team spoke about how one of the first clicker projects was created, why it attracts players, and how a funny game about finance was localized into 10 languages.

A Capitalist’s Dream

The essence of incremental, or clicker, games is that the player performs simple actions — for example, tapping repeatedly on the screen. This earns them in-game currency, which they can spend on upgrades. These, in turn, give the user the possibility to collect profits without taking any action.

AdVenture Capitalist allows you to live the real dream of a capitalist and build a huge, thriving business empire from the ground up, starting with a humble lemonade stand. As the first small business begins to bring in money, the player can spend these funds on development. They can buy more kiosks, hire managers who automatically take the money, or buy additional businesses — from car washes to oil companies.

The more money you make, the more opportunities you have to invest, delegate, and expand your business empire.

Tarek El Eryan
Senior LiveOps Producer at Hyper Hippo

The game pioneered the clicker genre and has been popular for over a decade. That’s a rare feat in the mobile gaming market and is something we’re incredibly proud of. At its core, AdVenture Capitalist is a satirical take on the exponential growth of capitalism, where money begets money with minimal effort past a certain accumulation point. The game design is built on tongue-in-cheek humor and exaggerated scenarios. The project hooks players with both its entertainment value and the rewarding sense of progression that requires little active input from the player.

Evgeniy Gilmanov

Facebook

AdVenture Capitalist Start Location: Earth. Businesses available for purchase show up on screen: lemonade stands, shrimp boats, hockey teams, and more

Players begin with a balance of zero on Earth, aspiring to reach a lofty goal of $10 uncentillion. When a user reaches 100 trillion dollars on our planet, they can start investing in a new location, the Moon; for 100 megabucks, the in-game currency, they can unlock Mars. Each of the planets offers unique businesses, managers with “descriptive” names and improvements, plus the ability to play the original background music. In addition, the Moon and Mars have their own currencies: the Lunar dollar and Mars credits. Earnings and success on one planet don’t carry over or affect the others in any way.

Emma Bullen
Director of New Global Markets at Hyper Hippo

We place great emphasis on incorporating player feedback into the game’s development. For example, we analyze quantitative data to understand player behaviors and source feedback to capture the stories and experiences of our players. This helps us ensure the game evolves in a direction that the players find enjoyable. The game’s enduring appeal is also bolstered by a unique, satirical layer of humor that permeates the entire experience, keeping the environment light-hearted and entertaining.

Evgeniy Gilmanov

Facebook

AdVenture Capitalist’s Moon location with themed decorations and specialty businesses: gravity booths, oxygen bars, and cheese mines

Each week, new events are released in AdVenture Capitalist that give access to a distinct world with special businesses, managers, and upgrades. Players receive points for participating in the event, which can be exchanged for rewards—megabucks, gold, boosts, or costumes, depending on their score.

The Excellent AdVenture Event. Players can sell dinosaur collars, cranes to build Egyptian pyramids, or a cruise with pirates for a bargain here

If they don’t want to participate in the event, players can buy virtual currency for real money. All achievements are saved in the cloud, so users can continue playing the game on any device from their account and see a tidy sum on the game account even after deleting the application.

Tarek El Eryan
Senior LiveOps Producer at Hyper Hippo

The AdVenture Capitalist of today is significantly different. The early version was simpler, with no Events, just one planet, and straightforward mechanics. Contrastingly, the current mobile-centric version boasts three planets, weekly Events, and a multitude of customization options for Avatars, such as various suits and badges.

The integration of cloud save functionality was a significant milestone that enhanced user experience by preserving progress across devices, a feature not initially planned in the game’s early architecture.

Evgeniy Gilmanov

Facebook

AdVenture Capitalist Goes Global

In October 2021, Hyper Hippo approached Inlingo with the task of translating 38,000 words into 10 languages. In two months, the team localized the game into German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, French, Brazilian Portuguese, and Turkish. Before selecting language pairs, Hyper Hippo conducted comprehensive research on AdVenture Capitalist’s international online community and used their proprietary data. The company’s main goal was to amplify the game’s reach across the globe.

Emma Bullen
Director of New Global Markets at Hyper Hippo

Localization considerations were postponed for years due to the intricacies of translating the game’s humor and cultural nuances. However, we knew that not localizing was holding us back in our global reach, so we scoped out the work and decided to take the plunge.

We entrusted the localization work to Inlingo for their specialization in game translations and cultural adaptations. Their professional network and commitment to quality were key factors.

Evgeniy Gilmanov

Facebook

Inlingo Dives into the Universe of Capitalism

There were 10 translators and 2 managers who worked on the AdVenture Capitalist translation project. The game contains tons of money and cultural puns, so the team selected translators familiar with banking vocabulary. An important criterion was the successful translation of jokes and wordplay, as AdVenture Capitalist is built on satirical humor. In just two months, the translators adapted 38,000 words of source text into 10 new languages.

Anna Maslova
Project Manager at Inlingo

With this project, we worked to make sure the process was done in such a way as to make both parties comfortable. Before launching, we gave the in-house editor the lockit for analysis and realized that we needed to translate a lot of jokes and puns. The lines in the document had been given without context and in alphabetical order, so we sorted them into groups to make it easier for translators to navigate. We collected all the questions that arose during the process at the end of each business day, CET, and sent them to the client. It was important that they got them by the start of the day in Canada.

Evgeniy Gilmanov

Facebook

Capitalistic Humor

Humor is an integral part of the game’s every aspect. It permeates event descriptions as well as the character and manager names. In this section, we’ll tell you about the localization nuances translators faced with AdVenture Capitalist and how they managed to combine jokes and business.

Funny Financier

When localizing popups, the translators encountered challenges with maintaining the correct tone. This had to be done in a way that made the player feel like a real tycoon but kept the game light and funny. Thanks to localization, the user understands the gist of the joke and the context of the message.

Anna Maslova
Project Manager at Inlingo

Before I even started working on the project, I installed the game on my phone and played it for a few evenings. It was the abundance of jokes and the game’s easy language that surprised me the most. My goal became to keep this in translation.

Evgeniy Gilmanov

Facebook

Pop Culture Adaptation

The AdVenture Capitalist experience lets players purchase managers and upgrades to build their financial empire. To keep the user’s interest and make the experience more engaging, the creators relied on wordplay and cultural references.

Localization of upgrades in the Excellent AdVenture event into Russian and German

Localization of manager names into Russian and Spanish

Working on AdVenture Capitalist, the Inlingo team immersed themselves in the culture of each region that the adaptation was being prepared for. So, for instance, the translators were able to use their knowledge of movies, slang, and Internet memes.

Anna Maslova
Project Manager at Inlingo

The source contains tons of puns literally everywhere: in descriptions, in titles, in names. There were tons of pop culture references. All of this had to be taken into account and adapted for the player. Where the reference was too strange for Russian-speaking users, we had to find a pop-culture alternative that made sense to them.

Evgeniy Gilmanov

Facebook

It’s All About the Economy

Let’s not forget that AdVenture Capitalist is tied to profit and finance.  The clicker game should be lighthearted but maintain focus on the goal—non-stop economic growth.  The translators did their best to motivate players from a variety of regions to earn more.

Anna Maslova
Project Manager at Inlingo

I can confidently say that working on this project actually increased my knowledge of economics. Every day, the whole team studied articles, watched videos, explored the topic, and shared their knowledge.

Evgeniy Gilmanov

Facebook

Project Results

1The project was translated into 10 languages in 2 months

 

2We stayed true to the light-hearted and humorous spirit of a game about finances

 

3The regions’ pop culture was highlighted for quality adaptation

About Hyper Hippo Entertainment

Hyper Hippo is an award-winning mobile game studio creating short-form digital experiences that entertain global audiences and leave a positive impact on the world. They are the creators of the popular game, AdVenture Capitalist, which has received multiple awards including a Google Play Editor’s Choice Award and Best Instant Game of the Year on Facebook. Along with AdVenture Communist and AdVenture Ages, Hyper Hippo’s titles have been installed over 80 million times globally. Hyper Hippo is committed to creating entertainment that resonates with audiences around the world, and currently supports 11+ languages in 170+ countries across their live games. Hyper Hippo is a proud recipient of the GamesIndustry.biz Best Places to Work award in 2021 and 2022. For more info, please visit Home – Hyper Hippo Games or contact .

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Who worked on this case study

From Hyper Hippo

Tarek El Eryan
Senior LiveOps Producer

Emma Bullen
Director of New Global Markets

From Inlingo

Anna Maslova
Project Manager

Ekaterina Meshcheryakova
Writer

Arina Gridneva
Content Manager