However, negotiations have reached an impasse regarding several key points, resulting in a vote being called to determine whether union members will enact a strike.
Voice actors in video games, specifically those in the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG-AFTRA) are voting on a possible strike today after negotiations over the seemingly outdated Interactive Media Agreement proved to be fruitless.
Games planned to launch in 2016 and 2017 could be significantly delayed if the voice actors of the SAG-AFTRA end up going on strike.
During the talks, game developers and publishers also requested some changes of their own, such as the ability to fine actors $2500 for being late, and refused to acknowledge that motion and performance capture work would be covered under a new contract.
The SAG-AFTRA union is proposing that video game voice actors should be given bonuses every time 2 million copies of a game are sold (or 2 million unique subscribers for online games) as well as additional pay when an actor damages their voice during voice recordings, or when a role requires them to strain their voice like screaming. You might recall that a writers strike occurred a few years back, as the folks who created the content felt they deserved similar back-end payment.
You might not immediately recognize Jennifer Hale’s name, but if she and other video game voice actors go on strike, your most anticipated video games might be in trouble. That contract included a number of gains for actors in terms of pay and benefits.
As for the other side of the argument, game publishers have stayed pretty quiet as of now, not publicly responding to claims by the union their proposals are “crazy” and possibly illegal. “We propose that the actual title of the project should be made available to at least our representatives before we are asked to audition”, reads the FAQ. If 75 percent or more are in favor of the strike, it will go through, which could delay games now in production.
We’ll keep you informed on the progress of this matter. “Remember, Warner Bros. and Disney are at the table”.
The hashtags #PerformanceMatters and #IAmOnBoard2015 have been gaining traction on Twitter over the past 24 hours, with industry veterans including David Hayter, Steve Blum, Grey Griffin, D.C. Douglas and Ken Lally all lending their support to the campaign and voting in favour of industrial action.