Developers are NEVER told to use a language even in the largest companies, if a team wants to write things in Basic, the company/marketing folks won't give a damn so long as you produce a game.
This I have to disagree with on many levels.
First the decision can come from above... in the form of "We got a licensing deal/promo offer/something else to use this piece of middleware... get to work!" In this day and age, the underlying engine dictates the language choice more than anything else.
Next, for companies not using an engine, its generally because they are working with legacy code. This generally forces the language on the dev team, and is probably a good part of the reason C++ remains as entrenched as it is.
Finally, its generally one or two people in the company that make the language decision... after that lowly peons put up or get out. It's the way of the world.
Thank you, I was actually wondering when someone would say this after he posted that.