Negotiations between SAG-AFTRA, who represent voice actors, and a number of video game publishers and developers failed to reach an agreement putting the union on strike. Part of the strike will see Electronic Arts offices picketed first starting today.
Currently, voice actors earn approximately $800 per four-hour session. The union has been looking to get the actors a percentage of game sales in addition to the wage.
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 session payments per principal performer for the most successful games: 2 million, 4 million, 6 million and 8 million copies.
The strike affects all games that started production after the 17th February 2015, that are made by the following companies:
- 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.
- WB Games, Inc.
Publishers initially rejected the union’s compensation request and instead offered regular pay plus up to $950 for eight sessions. SAG-AFTRA returned with a similar deal but instead of additional compensation it contained the term “residuals buyout.” Publishers rejected this too noting that no game developers on the team are paid residuals and they dedicate years of their lives to making the games.
A full explanation of why SAG-AFTRA is striking when can be seen on the official site where they have a PDF explaining their stance.