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Food Force goes multilingual

Six months and two million downloads after its launch, the world’s first humanitarian video game will soon be available in five languages.

WFP has announced a partnership with one of China’s leading interactive media companies, Shanda Interactive Entertainment Limited, for the production of a Chinese version of Food Force.

The agreement comes just days after the launch of the Japanese translation of the game, produced in collaboration with digital entertainment giant Konami.

Free download

One of the recurring questions has been ‘When will you make Food Force in my language?’. Our answer has been: we’re working on it
James Morris, WFP's Executive Director
Food Force was launched in April as a free internet download in English, aimed at teaching children aged 8-13 about WFP’s role in the fight against global hunger.

The game’s website, www.food-force.com, provides a wealth of information including news from current hunger hotspots, lesson plans for teachers and fundraising ideas.

Players can also leave comments and register their high scores. In the past six months, the website has received over 10 million views, stretching from Korea to Kuwait, Poland to Peru.

Nearly 200 countries

Even before the game was released in Japanese on 17 October, the majority of viewers came from Japan, closely followed by the United States. Other countries in the top ten by number of viewers in the past six months included Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Kids have come to the site from nearly 200 countries to download the game.

Transnational message

“The message of this game – helping the hungry – is transnational,” said James Morris, Executive Director of WFP.

“Thousands of enthusiastic comments have been posted on the site from all over the world, and one of the recurring questions has been ‘When will you make Food Force in my language?’. Our answer has been: we’re working on it.”

Localizations

Food Force has captured the attention of the largest gaming and media companies in the world, who have given their resources free of charge to enable the localizations of the game.

Agreements for French and Italian translations are in the process of being finalized, bringing the number of available language versions to five by the end of the year.

Additional partners

With this overwhelming interest from around the world, WFP is looking for additional partners to produce the game in other languages, including German, Spanish and Portuguese.

Food Force continues to be hosted on the Yahoo! server, as well as featuring on numerous websites which specialize in educational and gaming resources.