SAG-AFTRA video game actor strike comes to an end

As of September 25, 2017, SAG-AFTRA has reached a tentative agreement with the 11 struck video game companies, ending the longest strike in its history.

Secondary compensation was one of the major wins that SAG-AFTRA negotiated for their members. When the strike started, the union was hoping to base secondary compensation on the number of units sold, but the tentative agreement now seems to base the compensation on the number of sessions worked. The bonus includes $75 for the first session and reaches $2,100 after ten sessions have been worked, due no later than the date of the game’s release. (The original proposed contract stipulated that performers should receive one union scale payment ($825) for every two million copies sold, up to a maximum of four payments.)

The union has also won other important gains regarding transparency. Game companies are now required to disclose “the code name of project, its genre, whether the game is based on previously published intellectual property, and whether the performer is reprising a prior role,” said Chief SAG-AFTRA Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez, “Members are also protected by the disclosure of whether they will be required to use unusual terminology, profanity or racial slurs, whether there will be content of a sexual or violent nature and whether stunts will be required.”

The deal also contains an employer commitment to continue working with SAG-AFTRA on the issue of vocal stress during the term of the agreement.

Previously struck companies included:

  • Activision Productions, Inc.
  • Blindlight, LLC
  • Corps of Discovery Films, Inc.
  • Electronic Arts Productions, Inc.
  • Disney Character Voices, Inc.
  • Formosa Interactive LLC
  • Insomniac Games, Inc.
  • Interactive Associates, Inc.
  • Take 2 Productions, Inc.
  • VoiceWorks Productions, Inc.
  • WB Games, Inc.

The end of the strike ensures that titles in development will cast the union voice actors we know and love. Given that the voice casts of the biggest hits in the industry are almost entirely composed of union members, for gamers, this is good news indeed.