The 11-month video game voice actor strike has now concluded.
Over the weekend, the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) declared it reached a “tentative agreement” with 11 video game publishers including Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive.
SAG-AFTRA members began their strike in October of last year, saying that video game publishing is a “highly profitable industry” and voice actors were not receiving the “benefits they deserve”, comparing voice actors to their live action film counterparts.
The union’s national board will review the new, tentative agreement next month, but has already told its members they’re “free to resume working for the companies that were struck on all titles effective immediately.”
This new agreement provides voice actors a bonus payment at a game’s launch, dependent on the number of recording sessions worked.
Moreover, the agreement requires companies to disclose a game’s code name, genre, if the project is based on previously-published IP and if the performer is reprising a former role. Performers will also be informed if they’re required to use profanity, racial slurs and if there is sexual or violent content.
“This is an important advance in this critical industry space,” SAG-AFTRA President, Gabrielle Carteris, said.
“We secured a number of gains including for the first time, a secondary payment structure which was one of the members’ key concerns.”
“This expanded information will empower performers and their representatives to bargain knowledgeably for compensation and to understand the nature of the performance that will be required, both of which have been a challenge for our members in an environment characterised by code names and secrecy,” SAG-AFTRA’s Chief Contract Officer, Ray Rodriguez, added.
The agreement doesn’t cover vocal stress, a condition raised by voice actors at the beginning of the strike itself. Employers have committed to continue working with SAG-AFTRA on the issue.