Quebec Bill 96 and the video game industry

Bill 96 requires all official communications to be in French, and it’s scaring away the gaming industry

New laws are coming into effect in the Canadian province of Quebec that will have major ramifications for the video game industry. Bill 96, which came into force on June 1, aims to impose a certain level of Francophonie in the Canadian province. This forces business and health care to be done using the French language.

Quebec has a large number of video game development studios, including Ubisoft, Warner Bros., Eidos Montreal and many others. These studios work on multi-million dollar games and each employ hundreds of people – a significant amount of work. According to Eurogamer, 11,000 people work there in the industry, generating more than $2.5 billion.

However, the gaming industry is very international, attracting talent from all over the world, and English is the de facto language people learn to work with, even if they are from non-native Eastern European countries. and South America. Learning yet another language on top of that, or having to learn their first non-native language for English speakers, is a lot to ask if that’s not what you signed up for.

It is simply becoming very difficult to attract talent, according to a source, because there are many countries that do not have these laws, even other parts of Canada and obviously the United States nearby. In addition, other companies that work with Quebecers from outside – publishers, entrepreneurs, etc. – will not operate under these rules, so everyone will have to be bilingual anyway.

Having lived and worked in France, there are also challenges that come with operating in another language in terms of clarity on unique and other terms. Naturally, anything is doable, but it’s a lot of extra effort.

Written by GLHF.

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