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Video game voice actors' strike comes to an end after reaching a tentative agreement

Jason Clement

After 340 days, the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has officially come to a tentative agreement with the 11 game companies it originally went on strike against, making this their longest strike to date.


The strike originally began over key issues such as residual payments for games that sell a certain number of copies, better protection for vocal stress (or sessions that require intense vocal noises such as yelling, screaming, and the like), and increased transparency on the content of their performance (whether it would require profanity, racial slurs, etc.) as well as the full, real title of the game they're working on. The latter point was a real issue considering publishers would sign voice actors without them knowing what game they were really working on, hampering their ability to negotiate a larger payout if the game turned out to be a known major seller, such as a Grand Theft Auto game.


While SAG-AFTRA did manage to negotiate some victories for their voice actors, they did lose out on some of their major asks, such as residuals. Under the proposed agreement, voice actors would have gotten an extra $825 per every two million copies of the game sold.


Instead, they'll receive a 3% increase in base wages in addition to an increase in bonus pay, the latter of which is said to be $75 on the first session and up to $2,100 after 10 or more sessions. It's worth noting this is actually $1,200 less than what SAG-AFTRA sought for bonus pay.


As far as transparency goes, the guild won a small victory on that front. Video game companies will now have to reveal what the extent of the performance involves as well informing actors if they will be reprising a character they've played in the past. However, video game companies still do not have to divulge the full title of the game the voice actors will be working on.


Finally, the protection sought for vocal stress is unclear, with the official press release stating “an employer commitment to continue working with SAG-AFTRA on the issue”, possibly indicating that it will be a case-by-case basis.


Source: Kotaku


What are your thoughts on the voice actor's strike ending and the deals that they've reached?

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The only big thing that still seems kinda bad to me is just the fact that they don't have to reveal the game the voice actors are working on. I can understand about wanting to keep it under wraps sometimes, but to use it as a tactic to prevent renegotiation is kind of underhanded. Not to mention it could possibly help improve roles if you know you're working on one series. So a certain tone would fit there. Or something like that at least. Glad it's mostly resolved though, for now.

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