SAG-AFTRA Calls for Video Game Strike for All Voice Actors on October 21st

Jennifer Hale S.W.A.A.T.

SAG-AFTRA

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) are calling on a strike set for October 21st. This strike is meant to “bring the concerns of working video game performers to the negotiating table.” The proposals they have are as follows, straight from the SAG_AFTRA website:

“We’re asking for a reasonable performance bonus for every 2 million copies, or downloads sold, or 2 million unique subscribers to online-only games, with a cap at 8 million units/ subscribers. That shakes out, potentially, to FOUR bonus payments for the most successful games: 2 million, 4 million, 6 million and 8 million copies.”

They state that the video game industry has grown into “something bigger and more lucrative than many other segments of the entertainment industry”, and believe that if the CEO’s and executives get bonuses of up to almost $4 million when games do well, then the actors should also get a bonus for their talent and contributions.

“As the video game industry continues to incorporate more dialogue into their titles, voiceover actors are being asked to perform many challenging vocal tasks, such as simulating painful deaths, creature voices, battle sounds, and screams and shrieks, with significant force and explosive vibration. Actors are reporting that they are fainting in sessions, tasting blood, vomiting, losing their voice for a day up to several weeks, permanently losing their vocal range, etc. Our proposal is that vocally stressful sessions be reduced from the current four-hour session to a two-hour session without a loss of pay.”

I think this one is quite self explanatory. If you want your voice actors to do well, you need to care for the voice you’re paying for. Next up on strike proposals, they are looking for stunt coordinators on performance captures:

“Many actors feel unsafe without a stunt coordinator because they are often asked to do things that could potentially be dangerous to themselves or others. For example, once, without a stunt coordinator on set, a video game developer tried to do a wire pull – which means he basically made himself jerk really hard and fast across a room – without someone on set to monitor his safety. He, of course, got hurt and couldn’t go back to work for a long while. This is just one instance among many. Stunt coordinators also help train actors how to fight, do stunts and combat and perform motion capture properly so they look more realistic in the game.”

Safety should always be a top concern for any employer and they are asking for just that with this strike, safety. Next is “Transparency”.

“Actors need to know more about the projects that they are working on. SAG-AFTRA has proposed that the actual title of the project and the role being hired for should be made available to at least our representatives before signing a contract. We have also heard stories of actors coming into a session and being asked, without prior consent, to do content that contains simulated sex scenes and racial slurs. To be placed in a session, and asked to do a sex scene and racial slurs that will be forever tied to an actor’s name should be a choice made by an actor prior to booking.”

Sag-Aftra states that the actors deserve to know exactly what they’re “getting into” before committing to a role. They are asking for complete transparency before signing on.

SAG AFT

According to the guild, these are not “crazy demands” and that they are trying to be reasonable about the whole thing. This strike covers all video games, including work such as DLC and trailers under the Interactive Contract, that went into production after February 17, 2015 for the following employers: Activision Publishing Inc.; Blindlight, LLC; Corps of Discovery Films; Disney Character Voices, Inc.; Electronic Arts Productions, Inc.; Formosa Interactive, LLC; Insomniac Games, Inc.; Interactive Associates, Inc.; Take 2 Interactive Software; VoiceWorks Productions, Inc.; and WB Games, Inc.

I guess we will all see how this strike pans out. Do you think their proposals are reasonable? Let us know in the comment section below and check back with Don’t Feed The Gamers often for all your video game news.

In other gaming news, Rockstar continues to tease fans – a new image dropped earlier this morning hinting further at a sequel.

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