Expect some delays if this goes through
Around two weeks ago, we reported on tensions between video game publishers and SAG-AFTRA, the primary union for screen actors. The two groups are in the middle of negotiating a new contract for video game voice actors, and haven’t been able to reach an agreement. SAG-AFTRA began a vote to authorize a strike in case talks fall through.
On Tuesday, Oct 6, SAG-AFTRA announced it had received authorization from almost 97% of voting members. SAG made sure to emphasize that this vote does not guarantee a strike. If a new contract is not agreed on, all voiceover production in video games will grind to a halt.
SAG-AFTRA is seeking hazard pay for stressful voiceover sessions, royalties based on game sales, and transparency when auditioning. The video game companies participating in negotiations are looking for the ability to fine voice actors and SAG-AFTRA licensed agents.
This is not the first time a voice actor strike has been on the table. In 2009, before SAG and AFTRA merged to form a single union, the industry and the unions created a temporary contract. That contract ended in 2011 and mostly considered bringing SAG and AFTRA rates to par. It looks like the contract being negotiated today is more concrete.