While the Writer’s Guild strike finally appears close to a resolution, film and TV actors are still on strike–and video game voice actors and mo-cap performance artists seem poised to join them. In the latest on potential strike action in the games industry, SAG-AFTRA members who work on video games have voted unanimously to authorize a strike, meaning a strike could be called at any time as negotiations continue.
A press release put out by SAG-AFTRA says that the vote passed 98.32% in favor of authorizing a strike, as negotiations continue on the Interactive Media Agreement. SAG-AFTRA is negotiating on behalf of voice actors and motion capture performers with a number of big companies involved in the games industry, including Activision, Disney, EA, Insomniac Games, Epic Games, Take 2, WB Games, as well as companies that provide production services to other major players in the industry.
The Interactive Media Agreement negotiations have been going for almost a year, with the union saying companies still refuse to offer acceptable terms on important issues including wage growth, workplace safety, and the use of AI. The next bargaining session will take place over September 26 to 28, with the threat of a strike acting as added leverage.
“It’s time for the video game companies to stop playing games and get serious about reaching an agreement on this contract,” said SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher. “The result of this vote shows our membership understands the existential nature of these negotiations, and that the time is now for these companies–which are making billions of dollars and paying their CEOs lavishly–to give our performers an agreement that keeps performing in video games as a viable career.”
Video game voice actors went on strike for the very first time in 2016-2017, with the 11 month strike resulting in improved working conditions and pay for voice actors. Now, the union’s industrial action also includes motion capture performers, who are increasingly important to big AAA productions. It’s still yet to be seen whether the next round of negotiations will lead to an actual strike.
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