After failed negotiations, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) voted in favor of a strike against the video game industry.
In a resounding show of solidarity, members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have voted overwhelmingly in favor of authorizing a strike against the video game industry. This move follows a series of unsuccessful negotiations and represents a significant development in the ongoing battle for fair compensation, safety measures, and workers’ rights within the gaming sector.
SAG-AFTRA Members Approve Video Game Strike Authorization Vote With 98.32% Yes Vote https://t.co/skrGUK7yBq
— SAG-AFTRA NEWS (@sagaftranews) September 26, 2023
The final round of voting, which concluded on September 25, saw an impressive 98.32% of ballot-casting members supporting the strike authorization. This mandate was based on the input of 34,687 members, representing 27.47% of eligible voters within the union.
Key demands and concerns:
The decision to authorize a strike does not automatically lead to immediate industrial action. Instead, it provides the union’s negotiators with the authority to call for a strike if deemed necessary during ongoing discussions with video game companies.
The primary goal is to pressure these companies to address the pressing concerns raised by SAG-AFTRA. SAG-AFTRA’s demands reflect a wide array of issues faced by video game performers, including voice actors, motion capture artists, and other professionals:
1. Limiting the use of performance capture outside of the immediate project.
2. Contractual protection against the unregulated use of AI via performance capture.
3. Wage increases in line with industry standards to combat inflation.
4. Stricter safety measures.
5. Regulated five-minute-per-hour rest periods for on-camera performers.
6. Prohibitions against stunts for self-taped auditions.
7. Vocal stress protections for voice actors and performers.
Potential Impact on the Gaming Industry:
This strike authorization comes seven years after the union’s previous major strike in 2016, which lasted nearly a year and led to a new contract being ratified in November 2017. The issues raised then still persist today, and members are determined to achieve better working conditions and compensation.
The potential strike could have far-reaching consequences for the gaming industry. While previous strikes had limited impact on overall game development, this time, with the involvement of various roles such as voice actors, motion capture artists, and musicians, a strike could significantly disrupt projects featuring SAG-AFTRA members. Negotiations are ongoing, and the impact will depend on the outcome of these talks.
SAG-AFTRA’s resounding vote in favor of strike authorization sends a clear message to the video game industry: it’s time to take workers’ concerns seriously and reach a fair agreement. The next round of negotiations is scheduled to commence shortly, and the industry will be watching closely to see if a resolution can be reached that satisfies the demands of these dedicated performers.