I'm currently developing a game for Windows systems. The specific details of the game are not terribly important, however the game itself is largely self-contained in a single .exe file. One thing that is unique about it, though, is that the title of the game contains an accented character: (specifically, é). This manifests both in the file name of the executable and in the window title of the game at runtime.

For the vast majority of users, there doesn't seem to be an issue. However one user has reported that the program fails to launch when their system locale is set to Japan, but it runs fine when set to an English locale.

I suspect that the accented character in the file name may be the culprit as I feel like I've heard about this issue in similar projects, but it's hard to say. The user in question is not terribly responsive, so I have difficulty in acquiring any more information than this.

My question is, could including this accented character in the game's title be causing compatibility issues with Windows, and what sort of localization issues should I be aware of with regards to file or window name?


Windows NT and later uses internally 16-bit Unicode, so can handle all languages for which a language pack exists. Your client can only get into trouble if he uses a Windows version previous to XP.

As regarding your questions :

Windows title

I do not see any possibility for technical trouble, since this is handled by your program via Windows API. On the other hand, your program must use Unicode internally, meaning the <name>W family of Windows API functions.

However, the user might not like to see characters that he does not understand on his screen, and will have troubles communicating such names to colleagues or including them in training materials. Especially in Japan, where face is of ultimate importance, the user might feel insulted by a character he cannot pronounce.

I would suggest to avoid accented characters in titles. Although there are no technical problems involved, avoiding them can improve the user experience.

File name

The client can get in trouble if he uses a file-manager that does not use Unicode. The file-name would then usually be displayed as two weird characters and double-click will not launch it, or indeed any other operation such as copy. Problems may also occur when transferring such files to Linux or Mac, using them in non-Unicode programs (for example for zipping) etc.

I strongly advise against using accented characters in file names.

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