For some time now, many of the game industry’s voice actors have threatened to go on strike in their calls for better pay and studio transparency. Today, the possibility of such is now one step closer to becoming a reality.
After weeks of deliberation, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has voted 96.52 percent in favor of the Interactive Media Agreement Strike Authorization Referendum, which would allow its National Board to authorize a strike, which has yet to be put into effect. The board required a 75 percent majority to receive authorization from its members.
The Screen Actors Guild holds that voice actors should be entitled to higher pay parallel to those of their Hollywood counterparts due to the increasing demands of their work on set and in the recording studio through such innovations as motion-capture and taxing recording sessions.
It additionally asks that actors be paid residuals, secondary payments, royalties, or basic pay bumps, for every 2 million copies sold of a game they have worked on. The guild further petitions that stunt coordinators be available on set to assist actors in the motion-capture process and that studio auditions make perfectly clear the demands of the performances involved.
The strike has garnered support from such voice talents as Mass Effect’s Jennifer Hale, Assassin’s Creed‘s Roger Craig Smith, Batman Arkham City‘s Tara Strong, Wil Wheaton, and Metal Gear Solid‘s David Hayter over social media through such hashtag movements as #PerformanceMatters and #IAmOnboard2015.
In the meantime, the guild emphasizes that they will be continuing conversing at the bargaining table for the time being as a strike may or may not be put in place.
“It is important to note that the referendum result does not mean that members are on strike,” the union cautioned, “rather, it gives the National Board the authority to declare a strike.”
Such major game studios as Activision, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Rockstar, WB Games, and Disney Interactive have yet to respond to the guild’s demands following the failure of last June’s negotiations to produce the desired results. As always though, we’ll keep you posted when we hear more on the matter.