The debate between video game publishers and voice actors has taken an important step forward in negotiations. The voice actors employed under the SAG-AFTRA union proposed a strike if voice acting contracts did not improve; the actors want performance bonuses based on a game’s sales, stunt pay for vocally stressful roles and stunt coordinators for physical roles.
Now, that strike is a step closer to becoming a reality as 96 percent of members have voted to authorize a strike.
A press release on SAG-AFTRA’s website clarifies that a strike is not happening currently, but the union has gained the authority to start a strike when they feel it is necessary. The union is currently seeking negotiation with video game publishers before their next steps.
With this result in hand, the Negotiating Committee will seek to return to the bargaining table and continue to press for a fair resolution on behalf of performers working in video games. The Interactive Media Agreement expired on December 31, 2014. Bargaining sessions held in February and June of this year failed to produce an agreement.
If an agreement isn’t reached here, the resulting strike could affect many major games. David Hayter, Steve Blum, Jennifer Hale, Wil Wheaton, Phil LaMarr and Ashly Burch are just a few of the voice actors who are part of SAG-AFTRA, and wouldn’t appear in major gaming roles during a strike. The next step is seeing if a compromise can be made between these actors and video game publishers.
For more information on the SAG-AFTRA proposal, see our earlier article on the subject.