Merde! It appears that the hardcover art book included with the Canadian release of the Gears of War 2 Limited Edition only comes in French.

Joystiq says that complaints about the French-only art book have popped up in Epic’s Gears of War 2 forums, and while it’s not yet known whether the hardcover art book is French only right across the country, at least one poster noted that games purchased from stores at least as far west as Calgary – a city twice as far from Montreal as it from Los Angeles – don’t have the hardcover book in English.

What English-speaking gamers are getting instead is a softcover art book, attached to the outside of the box. While the content is apparently the same, the prevailing opinion seems to be that gamers paid for a hardcover art book with a reasonable expectation that it would come in their own language. Goalies and poutine notwithstanding, less than one quarter of all Canadians list French as their first language, and despite almost 150 years of living together language rights continues to be a touchy point for many people on both sides of the linguistic divide.

This kind of “dual manual” release is actually quite common in Canada, where most services and product packaging are legally mandated to be bilingual, but it’s the first time I can recall seeing one of our two official languages get preferential treatment in a Limited Edition. Epic has not yet commented on whether it has any plans to address the concerns of unhappy Canadian gamers.

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