Quebec Forbids English-Only Video Games in Favour of French Language

Posted by | April 3, 2009

Which only makes sense, because game developers are clamoring to translate their virtual worlds to French. The Toronto Star reports that a recent law passed in Quebec forbids the sale of English-only games if a French translation exists. This has caused a certain amount of excitement among retailers, similar to that felt by the dinosaurs right before the meteorite hit.

“I’m afraid it’s going to cost me my business,” said game store owner Ronnie Rondeau, as quoted by the Star. In a surprising turn of events, gamers just don’t want to wait the months, or years, it might take for a translation of the latest games to appear, if one ever does. Given that retailers already have to compete with online merchants who can carry a bigger selection and offer deep discounts, this law represents a butcher knife to the tender belly of traditional game stores.

Game developers likewise have reacted to this celebration of language purity in a predictable manner, as they collectively shrugged their shoulders and dropped Quebec from distribution lists. The cost of translation and the resulting bug-testing simply isn’t worth selling to the small population of that twisted, backwards, xenophobic Canadian embarrassment of a province. Even games slated to appear in France seldom meet the strict standards of Quebec’s language laws, which only adds further cost and delays.

Although the goal of this new law is to protect and promote the French language, all it can do is serve to ram another spear into the side of the local game industry. Meanwhile, Amazon watches with glee as a thin stream of bloody drool stretches down from its crooked smile.

You can see the Toronto Star article here.


3 Comments so far
  1. Sara
    April 4, 2009 5:15 pm

    As much as I think these laws are dumb, and that Quebec is shooting itself in the foot for this, calling it a “twisted, backwards, xenophobic Canadian embarrassment of a province” is out of line.

  2. […] | Canada | New Quebec law turns Lara Croft into francophone (this isn’t the tabloid magazine btw) Quebec Forbids English-Only Video Games in Favour of French Language | Vox ex Machina (also here) […]

  3. DiggBar Use Or Abuse « Test Area
    May 29, 2009 2:41 am

    […] became aware of it when someone sent me a message about an item by Nelson Williams entitled, Quebec Forbids English-Only Video Games in Favour of French Language. Which only makes sense, because game developers are clamoring to translate their virtual worlds […]

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