PDA

View Full Version : New Law Prohibits English Only Games in Quebec


lost
04-03-2009, 04:35 AM
I'm not really sure how to introduce this one. A new law has been passed making it more difficult for the people of Quebec to play some upcoming games. Picked up by everybody, from GamePolitics. (http://www.gamepolitics.com)

As of April 1st, it became illegal to sell an English language-only version of a video game if a French version is available.

Game Buzz co-owner Ronnie Rondeau is among those who are upset:

"I'm afraid it's going to cost me my business. If it really was going to make a difference, I'd be for it, but only a small number of people want to play in French. The rest don't care. And money-wise, it's going to hurt."

Hardcore gamers, of course, are an impatient lot who often want their favorite titles on the date of release. But Haig James Toutikian, a Montreal game designer, said that technical difficulties in creating French versions could lead to delays:

More here. (http://www.gamepolitics.com/2009/04/02/new-quebec-law-bans-sale-english-only-games-if-french-version-available)

Pretty stupid. Does North America not get multi-language versions like PAL territories do?

BloodPack
04-03-2009, 05:10 AM
It's crap like this that makes everyone else in Canada hate Quebec.

shpankey
04-03-2009, 05:14 AM
in my french studies in college, i learned from my french teacher just how much the french cherish their language. they are extremely protective of it. it's kind of their thing. this doesn't surprise me really.

PopoWRX
04-03-2009, 05:17 AM
From reading it, it seems games made only in English are ok but games that have multi-lang (Like French, for example), must have that copy available at retail.

I think all the blockbuster games usually have multi-lang options so that should delay the release of several high profile games for sure.

But English-only games are ok!

shpankey
04-03-2009, 05:17 AM
p.s. i remember one french teacher telling us how when you misspeak in french, they do not correct you by saying you said it wrong or this is how it's said but say something along the lines of: This is not french. Even for minor things. It's not that you spoke french and just said it slightly wrong, the whole thing isn't even french AT ALL. he was very proud of that story b/c it gives you insight into the pride that they hold for the french language.

Johan
04-03-2009, 05:22 AM
Quebec has a democratically elected 'local' government, does it not? This is what the people of Quebec want, because this has been the prevailing approach to issues of language in the province for a long, long time. If they did not want this kind of approach, they would have long ago voted it out of office.

I don't see a rationale for indignation. They want to preserve their language, it's their choice to do so, freely and democratically, and outsiders certainly don't deserve the right to impose their own will upon the people of Quebec.

Pretty simple, really. :shrugs:

DingBat
04-03-2009, 05:51 AM
p.s. i remember one french teacher telling us how when you misspeak in french, they do not correct you by saying you said it wrong or this is how it's said but say something along the lines of: This is not french. Even for minor things. It's not that you spoke french and just said it slightly wrong, the whole thing isn't even french AT ALL. he was very proud of that story b/c it gives you insight into the pride that they hold for the french language.

Well, they don't do that in Quebec. If they did, all you'd ever hear would be "This is not french".

I suspect a Parisian French speakers head would explode after one day in Montreal.

The Bashar
04-03-2009, 06:47 AM
The Quebec language police do a lot of crazy stuff. But it's as Johan says; it's legal. It's annoying as well, but it's not my province so not much I can do about that.

Demo_Boy
04-03-2009, 06:48 AM
"As of April 1st, it became illegal to sell an English language-only version of a video game if a French version is available."

So basically if you did the localization, then you have to sell it in a bilingual box.

Otherwise just don't make a french version.

Exodus
04-03-2009, 07:11 AM
they make a french version for france so this isn't a big deal, delays in quebec will be delayed but so long as it doesn't affect the english speaking there's no big problem. however if it does delay the english version for the people outside of quebec in canada...i do have a bone to pick about this. I can understand quebec's need to do these things so long as it doesn't affect the rest of us outside of its borders.

Hell i hope they even seperate one day. I hear through that france wants nothing to do with them. And if they do take off, they better take their share of the national debt they have(which is probably part of the reason why they haven't seperated).

Johan
04-03-2009, 07:14 AM
*********

That's not French. :D

Earth Djinn
04-03-2009, 07:16 AM
God damn I hate stuff like this. Punish the many to accommodate the few.

Yama
04-03-2009, 07:18 AM
As an English speaker who just recently moved to Montreal, this is going to suck for me if it delays releases.

Until now, most of the games on the shelves are the American release with an extra French manual included in or outside the case.

Kweli
04-03-2009, 07:19 AM
Listen, no one in Canada likes Quebec except the Quebec people themselves....

Without saying WHY, i will point to the thread in question...

Its interesting when the WHOLE country has to do the english/french thing because of them, yet they do not acknowledge any of the 'english'

ElfShotTheFood
04-03-2009, 07:25 AM
Pretty soon they'll only want French-speaking players on the Canadiens.

Oh wait, they already do. ;)

Mr.Green
04-03-2009, 07:35 AM
From reading it, it seems games made only in English are ok but games that have multi-lang (Like French, for example), must have that copy available at retail.

This is correct.

Pretty much all the games already have at least french manuals and subtitles so it shouldn't be much of a problem. That being said, my english is pretty good so I prefer playing games (and watch movies) in their original form anyway so I hope it doesn't affect us negatively.

I can't say I'm thrilled by the perception it gives of us though. Case in point: this thread.

From what I understand it won't affect the rest of the country, let alone the US so why the hostility?

Johan
04-03-2009, 07:37 AM
From what I understand it won't affect the rest of the country, let alone the US so why the hostility?

That was essentially my point. Who cares? I sure don't. For all I care, Quebec can make English illegal. Whatever! :D

Yama
04-03-2009, 07:46 AM
This is correct.

Pretty much all the games already have at least french manuals and subtitles so it shouldn't be much of a problem. That being said, my english is pretty good so I prefer playing games (and watch movies) in their original form anyway so I hope it doesn't affect us negatively.

I can't say I'm thrilled by the perception it gives of us. Case in point: this thread.

From what I understand it won't affect the rest of the country, let alone the US so why the hostility?

It definitely won't affect the rest of Canada. They'll continue to get whatever the United States gets in terms of shipments. Studios in Montreal will be under more pressure to get the FGIS (French / German / Italian / Spanish) localization done sooner, or simultaneously, so that they're not shipping their game everywhere first, and then releasing in Quebec last.

Froggy
04-03-2009, 09:21 AM
Honestly, most residents of Quebec value the country's bilingualism. Separationists are a minority, and this legislation is not anti-English. It's against English-only, which is a plague to linguistic diversity.

English has, in the last 10 years, become the leading factor in world language loss. Its presence as a prestige-language in global trade leaves international workers with two choices: learn English or sacrifice success. Meanwhile, parents refuse to teach children their native languages and international companies spend millions on dialect coaches to ensure that their employees don't deviate from Standard Academic English.

Here in the southwest, Cupeno is already dead, Hopi has no child speakers, and Nauatl, the language of the Aztec, has about 30 years left.

So I propose that it's not the end of the world if a province wants to fight English-only.

shpankey
04-03-2009, 10:07 AM
That's not French. :D

Minor correction, they say 'This is not French'. So I guess what I'm saying to you is: This is not English! ;)

Rafer
04-03-2009, 11:32 AM
Pretty stupid. Does North America not get multi-language versions like PAL territories do?

The problem for Quebec gamers is that PAL and NTSC have different resolutions and frame rates (it's programmed slightly differently), so they can't just release the French PAL version in Quebec, they have to add the French language to the NTSC version.

I'm guessing some game companies don't bother since the Quebec market is so small it doesn't justify the expense of adding or replacing the English (remember French has extra fonts) and bug testing.

Kushana
04-03-2009, 11:52 AM
I think this is going to be a perfect case of the law of unintended consequences. Let's work through a test case.

StarCraft 2 (random example) comes out. The French localization is not available. No problem. Since it's not available, the English-only version is legal for sale in Quebec.

The multi-language version becomes available. It's now offered to retailers, who can sell it because it includes French.

The sticky point is: what happens to all of those English-only versions already sitting on shelves? Well, I'm not sure, but my guess is that the publisher will have to exchange them for multi-language versions. Which will cost money.

Or, in a completely ironic move, the publisher can label the multi-language version, "Not for sale in the province of Quebec." Now that the French version is "unavailable," the English-only version can continue to be sold. The multi-language version can be bought from Future Shop online.

drakkarim
04-03-2009, 02:36 PM
i have nothing against canada, my bro lives there actually, but this whole french equal rights shit is somewhat retarded. they need to get over it, its not france. i don't care what country bought/stole it originally from what other country (who stole it from the natives).

Then again, its the people there that tolerate it, so if they don't care enough, frack em, who cares.

I guess it'll piss em off when i invent the universal ear translator and accidentally forget to include their language, permanently.

Froggy
04-03-2009, 02:54 PM
I guess it'll piss em off when i invent the universal ear translator and accidentally forget to include their language, permanently.

Wait, you're going to invent it AND program it? What languages will you include? All but French?

I think you're bluffing... :D

Yama
04-03-2009, 02:55 PM
i have nothing against canada, my bro lives there actually, but this whole french equal rights shit is somewhat retarded. they need to get over it, its not france. i don't care what country bought/stole it originally from what other country (who stole it from the natives).

And you're not in England, so why are you insisting on using English? ;)

Maybe it seems retarded to you, but Canada is hardly the only place in the world with more than one cultural divide and more than one lingual group.

GunnSgtHartman
04-03-2009, 02:59 PM
"This is why we hate Quebec in the rest of Canada". Jeez, it doesn't even affect you. Why do you even care about this thread if you hate us that much?

I have never heard of this law in the Quebec media other than here on Evil Avatar. The stores are still selling games as we speak now. I've called into three stores so far and they weren't even aware of this.

I've read the article and knowing this comes from a Toronto newspaper, I'm betting it's being exaggerated like many other newspapers do out of Quebec (Globe and Mail anyone?)

I'm leaving with a friend to buy Guitar Hero Metallica and Street Fighter IV while you guys make a big situation of this non-news for you.

GunnSgtHartman
04-03-2009, 03:10 PM
Oh by the way, remember the recent Fox News Red Eye show that ridiculized Canadians with total ignorance about our country?

You other fellow Canadians sound very much like Fox News when you screw around like that talking about Quebec. We probably also sound like that when we disagree with the rest of you on many subjects. We Canadians also like to put all Americans in the same bag and think they're all stupid Texan cow-boys or whatsoever. I've lived a few months in different US states and I can say that it's completely false.

In the end, when you speak about another country that you totally ignore, you'd better get your facts straight or shut the hell up :D

Chaos Machine
04-03-2009, 03:30 PM
Oh by the way, remember the recent Fox News Red Eye show that ridiculized Canadians with total ignorance about our country?

You other fellow Canadians sound very much like Fox News when you screw around like that talking about Quebec. We probably also sound like that when we disagree with the rest of you on many subjects. We Canadians also like to put all Americans in the same bag and think they're all stupid Texan cow-boys or whatsoever. I've lived a few months in different US states and I can say that it's completely false.

In the end, when you speak about another country that you totally ignore, you'd better get your facts straight or shut the hell up :D

only problem is when you pigeon hole americans into a stupid arrogant texas-cowboy stereotype it sounds more like envy than malice to our ears.

WpnX
04-03-2009, 03:34 PM
Quebec is definitely an odd ball province.

I found that when I went to QC and tried to speak my broken Francais, I was generally treated well, and many would just reply in English, happy I was at least making an effort. There were a few rude francophones, but go anywhere with a significant population and you're bound to run into a few assholes.

But the law already stipulates that French signage must be placed above English signage, with the English being the same size or smaller. This bill is consistent with their current language laws. Keep in mind these people had an election years back to decide whether they were going to separate from the rest of the country (but keep our postal service, armed forces, and a few other federal perks). Its like moving out, then borrowing mom's car so you can come home and do the laundry, but I digress...

Most games sold in Ontario are bi-lingual anyways, so I don't anticipate any anglophones having to turn to Amazon to get games. Probably not a big deal.

NightRain
04-03-2009, 06:36 PM
The problem for Quebec gamers is that PAL and NTSC have different resolutions and frame rates (it's programmed slightly differently), so they can't just release the French PAL version in Quebec, they have to add the French language to the NTSC version.

I'm guessing some game companies don't bother since the Quebec market is so small it doesn't justify the expense of adding or replacing the English (remember French has extra fonts) and bug testing.

I think he was referring to the fact the audio would already be recorded to include in the NTSC version.

icronic
04-03-2009, 08:53 PM
You know it's funny. Quebec always seems to get such a horrible rap.I went there a few years ago, and nearly everyone shared their horror stories with me about how terrible it was, and how snotty the people were and so forth. Now this worried me since my French consists of no more than 4 poorly pronounced words, two of which are vulgar.

Long story short, it was a bunch of bullshit, the people were extremely friendly, and not a single person begrudged me for not speaking the slightest bit of their language.

However, I hear crazy stories like this on a regular basis, and I can't help wonder if all the crazies have somehow ended up in government. Well at least this one doesn't effect the rest of Canada. It's bad enough that we get all our packaging in both languages and duplicate instruction manuals and maps and stuff in french (what a bloody waste of paper). In my 28 years of life, I've yet to hear a single person in BC speaking french outside a french class, why do we need french books and packaging?

Mr.Green
04-03-2009, 08:58 PM
only problem is when you pigeon hole americans into a stupid arrogant texas-cowboy stereotype it sounds more like envy than malice to our ears.

Really? Really?

Wow.

TeeCakes
04-03-2009, 09:17 PM
If you live in America, speak "American" dagnabit and tarnation!!!

</country folk>

Yama
04-03-2009, 09:23 PM
You know it's funny. Quebec always seems to get such a horrible rap.I went there a few years ago, and nearly everyone shared their horror stories with me about how terrible it was, and how snotty the people were and so forth. Now this worried me since my French consists of no more than 4 poorly pronounced words, two of which are vulgar.

Long story short, it was a bunch of bullshit, the people were extremely friendly, and not a single person begrudged me for not speaking the slightest bit of their language.


I've spent 2 months in Montreal so far, and not a single person has been put off by my lack of French. Of course I've stuck to the downtown core, where it's mostly bilingual, so that might affect my experiences somewhat. But still, folks that start talking to me in English, and then I apologize and tell them I don't know French very well, are friendly and repeat what they said in English. Quebecers aren't assholes, they just take pride in their differences like anyone else, and a big part of what makes Quebec special is French. Not wanting their language to die is as natural as any other people's desire to hold onto their traditions.

F3nyx
04-04-2009, 05:11 AM
only problem is when you pigeon hole americans into a stupid arrogant texas-cowboy stereotype it sounds more like envy than malice to our ears.

Could that point have possibly gone further over your head

AlfredT
04-04-2009, 08:34 AM
Actually I like quebec better than ontario. Good cheap food :) and they sell alcohol everywhere! However, I disagree with some of their pro-french protectionist government policies. The truly ironic thing is that unlike France, which has a government ministry to uphold the integrity of their language; Quebec does not.

Ive been confided by a few of my French buddies that Quebec-france sounds a tad hickish with strange words and corruptions of normal french words. The best though is when I do visit France I bring some French-Canadian game manuals and the literal translations they give me make me laugh my ass off.

lost
04-04-2009, 08:54 AM
The problem for Quebec gamers is that PAL and NTSC have different resolutions and frame rates (it's programmed slightly differently), so they can't just release the French PAL version in Quebec, they have to add the French language to the NTSC version.

I'm guessing some game companies don't bother since the Quebec market is so small it doesn't justify the expense of adding or replacing the English (remember French has extra fonts) and bug testing.

You're right. Up until very recently there have been some strong differences with PAL/NTSC video standards. However, now any newly purchased TV (or one purchased roughly in the last 10 years) that is PAL will handle 60hz - it may well even be its first choice.

The PlayStation 3 has absolutely no region protection. Publishers could just ship PS3 PAL copies to Quebec.

The real silver lining here is that it may reduce the number of 360 games with region protection - loads of games don't even bother, see PlayAsia. If I'm a publisher and I want to sell my game in Quebec and not make a Quebec specific version then all I need to do is tick the 'no thank you' box on protection and, like I can already do with the PS3, give them PAL copies of 360 games which won't lock out on NTSC 360s.

Being able to play PS3 versions of games when they release rather than the bullshit PAL release dates is one of the main reasons I tend to buy for it first. I got to play Silent Hill: Homecoming 4 months before it hit here, Afro Samurai a month and so on. I'd love to have the same access to 360 imports that worked.

There! I found the positive!

oddvorbis
04-04-2009, 09:48 PM
I live in quebec, french is my first language, and never heard of it.

Am I the only one who think this is an April fool's joke?

Dag-Sabot
04-04-2009, 10:14 PM
Wait. The game manuals have to be in Quebecois?

Exodus
04-04-2009, 11:10 PM
I would like to see quebec take on a different tac. I would like to see them promote french and make people want to learn it instead of making laws to preserve it. A suggestion like, you have the choice of saying 'How are you?' in english in canada or you can say 'Comment allez vous?'.

Make people waaaaaaaaant to speak french. The image that quebec projects by constantly protecting their culture and language instead of taking steps to promote it is killing the rest of the country's feelings towards it. I'm not shouting seperate already, it was quebec's extreme party that has been wanting it for quite a while now and they almost had it last I remember. Instead of trying to isolate themselves even more why not spread what they have. I would in fact enjoy it if this country became truly bilingual. It's already got me thinking about it already about what I can do for fun over the summer(besides gaming).

Dag-Sabot
04-05-2009, 10:57 PM
Its really hard for me to think ill of a people who live in a wonderous place where you can smoke hash in a strip joint one minute and the next be eating the best smoked meat sandwich while balls deep in snow.