Voice actors in video games, specifically those in the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG-AFTRA) are voting on a possible strike today after negotiations over the seemingly outdated Interactive Media Agreement proved to be fruitless.
If a yes vote passes, then it could have an impact on games in development, and several prominent voice actors have taken to Twitter to show their support for a potential strike.
The original Interactive Media Agreement expired late last year, after not being updated since the mid-90s. Given the rising significance of voice acting in games since then, and the large changes to the industry in the last decade, negotiations began to update it.
“[T]his agreement is still the template we use today despite radical changes in what we are required to do on set and in the recording studio,” reads the negotiations info page on the SAG-AFTRA website. “We’re looking to bring this long-standing agreement into the 21st Century by addressing the following issues, which were arrived at after extensive one-on-one, small group and big meeting interactions and discussions with members like you.”
Members of SAG-AFTRA met with the likes of Activision, Disney, EA and Warner Bros. in February and June, but no agreement could be reached.
"Every proposal we've made has been flatly, firmly and summarily shot down," Steve Blum, whose vocal talents can be heard in everything from Anime to triple-A games, told Destructoid.
These proposals include hazard pay, stunt coordinators and stunt pay since voice actors are now often expected to do motion capture work, better bonus rates and more transparency during auditions.
With no agreement reached, members of SAG-AFTRA are now voting through mail ballot and online in regards to a strike. Wil Wheaton, Jennifer Hale, Steve Blum, Ashly Burch and Tara Strong are among those who have voted yes.
For the vote to pass, 75% of voters will need to vote yes.