SAG-AFTRA, a union representing video game voice actors and other professions, could be leaning towards a strike that could leave video game publishers without many of its most recognizable personalities. Reports are coming in that negotiations for better contracts with large publishers like EA and Activision have gone bad, and the union is holding vote on whether to continue with the strike or not.
The union claims to be seeking better conditions for voice actors in the industry. Among its demands are better protection and pay for physically demanding roles, like for those which require a lot of screaming and gruff vocals that could damage a voice, royalties after a game turns a profit or sells 2 million copies, better preparation and stunt coordinators for motion capture sessions, and more transparency on projects.
One major sticking point is the call for “backend bonuses” with the union’s website saying actors deserve more money now that “the industry has grown, boomed and morphed into something bigger and lucrative than any other segment of the entertainment industry.”
In order to strike, the union must hold a vote for all its members, and the strike will be legal if it passes with 75 percent. The voting began on Sept. 16, and it will wrap up on Oct. 5.
Together, voice actors have been using the hashtag #PerformanceMatters to show unification in their demands. Major voice actors like David Hayter, Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid, Wil Wheaton, and Jennifer Hale, FemShep in the Mass Effect franchise, have spoken out in support of the strike.
— David Hayter (@DavidBHayter) September 22, 2015
— Jennifer Hale (@jhaletweets) September 22, 2015
— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) September 22, 2015