Members of SAG-AFTRA, or the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a video game strike if needed.
As per SAG-AFTRA, 34,687 members cast ballots, representing 27,47% of eligible votes, with 98.32% favouring a strike if the negotiations with video game companies failed to yield desired results.
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Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator, said that after five rounds of bargaining, “it has become abundantly clear that the video game companies aren’t willing to meaningfully engage on the critical issues: compensation undercut by inflation, unregulated use of AI and safety.”
Are Video Game Voice Actors really going on a strike?
Now, just to be clear, this doesn’t mean that video game voice actors and performers are going on a strike, but it does mean that they do have the green signal from the union negotiators if companies like Activision, Disney, EA, Take 2, Insomniac, and WB games, fail “to stop playing games and get serious about reaching an agreement on this contract,” said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher in a statement.
“The result of this vote shows our membership understands the existential nature of these negotiations and that the time is now for these companies – which are making billions of dollars and paying their CEOs lavishly – to give our performers an agreement that keeps performing in video games as a viable career,” she added.
The last time video game performers went on a strike was in 2016, and it lasted nearly a year before a new contract was agreed upon in November 2017. That contract was then extended to 2022 and then to 2023.
The news of a strike comes on the tail-end of the SAG-AFTRA’s film and television performers, who have been on strike since July and have yet to reach agreeable terms with Hollywood studios.
Mufaddal Fakhruddin has been writing about games and technology for the past 15 years. He has lost count as to how many reviews he has written over the years, but he is sure headphone reviews make up at least 70% of that.