Many video game voice actors to go on strike

Negotiations between the industry and the union have been unsuccessful.

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A number of voice actors from the video game industry are currently on strike after negotiations between the SAG-AFTRA union and publishers failed after two years, taking effect today.

The SAG-AFTRA union has requested that members strike from some of the biggest publishers, including:

Corps of Discovery Films
Disney Character Voices
Electronic Arts
Formosa Interactive
Insomniac Games
Interactive Associates
VoiceWorks Production
WB Games

The strikes are meant to cover all games from the above companies that were produced after February 17 last year. Next Monday the union want some of the members to picket EA's Playa Visa office in California as well.

SAG-AFTRA have claimed that their proposals are reasonable and have received support from figures like Wil Wheaton and Roger Craig-Smith, a voice actor for Assassin's Creed. According to a certain report, only a quarter of video games use union voice actors, and the issues regarding their treatment has led to the first strike of video game actors.

According to another report, SAG-AFTRA claim that the industry will not offer residual payment bonuses, and have asked that the performers should receive an additional payment for every 500,000 units sold as part of a profit-sharing opportunity, including a maximum of four secondary payments should a game sell more than two million copies. There are also claims the industry won't reduce the recording time for "vocally stressful" recordings to two hours, a measure that would prevent vocal damage.

A statement by SAG-AFTRA outlines the status of these negotiations: "A last attempt to reach an agreement with video game employers this week was not successful. Management remains unwilling to agree to fair terms that would bring the interactive contract into the 21st century."

Later on in the statement, after outlining the issues above, they say: "After nearly two years, management has been unwilling to resolve these issues in an equitable manner. This strike is not the union's preferred outcome, but is necessary to let employers know SAG-AFTRA members will stand fast to their principles and not be exploited."

Do you agree with the strike? What do you think about the relationship between video game performers and the industry?

Many video game voice actors to go on strike

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