On the first day of June, a new language law was passed in Quebec, Canada. This law goes under the title of Bill 96, and its purpose is to “reinforce the use of French in all areas of Quebec life.” In order words, French will now be the sole official language of the provinces. Immigrants living in Quebec will still have access to government services and sites in English, but only for six months after the law has been passed. Non-native French speakers only have until the end of this year to familiarize themselves with the unknown terminology.
Quebec is home to many video game studios including Ubisoft Montreal (Assassin’s Creed), WB Games Montreal (Gotham Knights), Eidos Montreal (Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy), and Behaviour Interactive (Dead by Daylight). Many of these offices employ international workers who have moved to Canada to start their careers. During a recent interview with CBC News, a game developer under the alias “Remy” shared his opinion on the newly passed law. “According to Quebec’s Industry Ministry, over 11,000 people are employed in the Quebec video game industry, which generates nearly $1.75 billion in revenue for the province every year.” He also mentioned that English is the default language for most of the gaming industry, and some international developers learn English just to work in the sector. If those developers have to learn French on top of English, this could lead them to find jobs in Ontario, Vancouver, or other provinces where Bill 96 has no effect.
Osama Dorias, a video game developer and instructor at Dawson College also expressed his displeasure with the bill. He told CBC that he used to encourage graduates and international students to seek employment in Montreal, but not anymore. “Now [those job seekers] are just looking elsewhere, and I don’t blame them. It’s going to be very hard for us to compete on a global level.”
It’s really upsetting to see so much francophone/Quebec bashing on comments for articles pertaining to Bill 96.
The current Quebec government is xenophobic, but many Quebecois, myself included, oppose them.
You can’t fight bigotry with more bigotry!
— Osama Dorias (@osamadorias) June 29, 2022
As of right now, the future of video game industries under Bill 96 is unknown.