The video game voice actor strike kicked off today by the Union in association with some of the most prominent voice actors in the industry. This is a result of the failure of almost two years worth of negotiations between the SAG-AFTRA union and game publishers. The strike officially took effect last night at 12:30 PM IST.
As was announced initially, the union has asked all of its members to go ahead and strike against some of the renowned publishers in the gaming industry, such as Activision, EA, Take-Two, Insomniac Games, and WB Games. According to the union, the strike will affect any and all games from these developers that went into production after February 17, 2015.
Representative speakers for the video game industry have now officially released a statement in the wake of the strike. Chief negotiator for the publishers, Scott Witlin, said:
The Video Game Companies did everything in their power to reach agreement with union leaders, offering a money package almost identical to SAG-AFTRA’s last demand, we are greatly disappointed that SAG-AFTRA refuses to allow its members to have a democratic vote on our proposal and decide if the significant money on the table is acceptable to them. The strike is going to hurt the SAG-AFTRA performers that these Companies value.
He further added:
The strike will have little to no immediate impact on the ability of fans to buy and play the video games they love as the majority of upcoming games already are in production–and the union is not permitted to strike most of the games due to the nature of the ‘No Strike Provisions’ of the interactive media agreement, the sad part is that the very performers who these Companies value and who are impacted by the union decision to strike–never got a chance to vote on the Companies’ proposal.
The ultimate concluding offer that was made by the video game industry was an immediately effective 9% wage hike and “additional compensation” of up to a staggering $950 per game, the exact amount will depend on the exact number of sessions a performer has worked on the said game.
We value our performers and their dedication, many of the Companies and people on our committee are the best evangelists for the use of SAG-AFTRA members in this industry. It is unfortunate that SAG-AFTRA rushed into a strike that will immediately and directly take money out of their members’ pockets.
Here’s to hoping that the union is willing to accept the offer. If not, it’s not just the industry that gets affected, it’s also gamers like us who’ll be looking at more delays for games we’ve been dying to play.