A new language law in Québec is set to affect the province’s large gaming industry.
- READ MORE: The art of storytelling: How 20 years spent making narrative games led Caroline Marchal to ‘As Dusk Falls’
Québec Bill 96 is a new language law that aims to strengthen the use of the French language in the province. This bill aims to make French the primary language in several aspects of Québécois life, including business.
This is likely to have adverse effects on the large gaming industry based in the province. Ubisoft Montreal, Warner Brothers Games Montreal, Eidos Montréal and Behaviour Interactive are just some of the studios based in Québec.
An anonymous source speaking to CBC revealed some of the growing concerns among non-native industry workers in Québec.
“You already see it, with some people who are looking at Bill 96 and saying ‘Ok, it’s time for me to pack up and leave.’” The source then went on to say, “…some international developers learn English just to work in the sector. Having to learn French on top of that might be a bridge too far for some, when they can easily get a job in Ontario or Vancouver instead, where the gaming industry is rapidly growing.”
For example, one part of the bill states that immigrants who have lived in Québec for over six months will have to access government services through French.
Speaking to CBC, Québec’s Office for the Protection of the French Language responded to concerns with “All sectors must contribute to the effort to ensure the sustainability of our official and common language.”
According to the article, Québec is also experiencing a shortage of video game industry workers and local Francophone graduates are being lured to California and Sweden by better job offers. Bill 96 is likely to compound this ongoing problem.
In other industry news, Unity has laid off approximately 200 workers. In a statement given to the press, the company claimed this is due to a “resource realignment.”