Canadian Legend of Mana, Vagrant Story release update

[06.14.00] » Electronics Boutique threatens importing retailers while Legend of Mana and Vagrant Story are pushed back further.

   Early last week, we reported on Vagrant Story's inability to reach the Canadian market due to pressure from the Quebec government; the province has insisted that video game titles be sold from now on with both French and English-language instructions. Despite the questionable legalities of the ruling, a small number of publishers have chosen to abide by the province's wishes, including EA Canada -- resulting in an indefinite delay for the distribution of its Square EA titles across the entire Canadian market.

   Since our previous story, Square EA's Legend of Mana has been released in the United States, but a Canadian release is still forthcoming with no firm date yet set. The delay is certainly a frustrating prospect for most Canadian gamers to face, considering that the United States' northern neighbors have grown accustomed to simultaneous cross-border releases.

   Meanwhile, an internal email to Canadian Electronics Boutique retail outlets has stated that Vagrant Story is now expected for release sometime next week, possibly on Monday, June 19th. As stated previously, Electronics Boutique has found itself in legal hot water for importing the game from its U.S.-based distribution chain and selling it prematurely -- the company communication goes on to ask employees to report other Canadian retailers found selling the game to an internal corporate phone number.

   It's currently unknown if other publishers will follow suit and begin delaying Canadian releases in order to package French manuals, or how long it'll be until publishers can ensure that French-language manuals are available prior to U.S. distribution and release. Regardless, for Canadian gamers who simply can't wait, it seems the only choices available are to track down smaller retailers importing titles from the U.S. market, or to import games themselves (at substantial shipping and duty costs) from online retailers such as Tronix and NCS.

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