While the ongoing Writer’s Guild strike is finally nearing a resolution, the film and TV actors are still in the midst of their own strike. And now, it seems that video game voice actors and motion capture performers are ready to join them. In the latest development regarding the potential strike action in the gaming industry, members of SAG-AFTRA who work on video games have unanimously voted to authorize a strike. This means that a strike could be called at any moment as negotiations continue.
A press release issued by SAG-AFTRA reveals that the vote in favor of authorizing a strike passed with an overwhelming majority of 98.32%. The negotiations are centered around the Interactive Media Agreement, with SAG-AFTRA representing voice actors and motion capture performers in discussions with major companies in the gaming industry such as Activision, Disney, EA, Insomniac Games, Epic Games, Take 2, WB Games, and production service providers for other industry giants.
The negotiations for the Interactive Media Agreement have been ongoing for nearly a year. The union claims that the companies involved still refuse to offer satisfactory terms on crucial matters such as wage growth, workplace safety, and the utilization of artificial intelligence. The next bargaining session is scheduled for September 26 to 28, and the possibility of a strike serves as additional leverage.
“It is high time for the video game companies to cease their games and approach these contract negotiations with seriousness,” stated Fran Drescher, the president of SAG-AFTRA. “The outcome of this vote demonstrates that our members comprehend the critical nature of these negotiations and that these companies, which are generating billions of dollars in revenue and compensating their CEOs extravagantly, must provide our performers with an agreement that ensures a sustainable career in video games.”
In 2016-2017, video game voice actors embarked on their very first strike, which lasted for 11 months. This strike resulted in improved working conditions and remuneration for voice actors. Now, the union’s industrial action encompasses motion capture performers as well, who play an increasingly vital role in major AAA productions. Whether the upcoming negotiations will lead to an actual strike remains to be seen.