Strike! SAG-AFTRA members approve a strike for video game performers

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Writers, actors, and now video game performers, there’s another strike looming when it comes to entertainment. Voice actors and motion capture performers from SAG-AFTRA voted overwhelmingly on Monday to authorize a strike. That could begin Tuesday if negotiations on a new labor contract fails. This would be the third work stoppage in Hollywood this year.

SAG-AFTRA said that 27.47% of eligible voters, 34,687 member, took part. SAG-AFTRA also represents the film and television actors that are currently striking.

The agreement for video game performers expired in November and has been extended on a monthly basis. If negotiations fail, the authorization by members permits the National Board to declare a strike.

Video game companies impacted include:

  • Activision Productions Inc.,
  • Blindlight LLC,
  • Disney Character Voices Inc.,
  • Electronic Arts Productions Inc.,
  • Epic Games, Inc.,
  • Formosa Interactive LLC,
  • Insomniac Games Inc.,
  • Take 2 Productions Inc.,
  • VoiceWorks Productions Inc., and
  • WB Games Inc.

Being negotiated is increased wages to keep up with inflation and the use of artificial intelligence. Video games use “performance capture” and the unregulated use of AI could pose a threat to those performing artists. There is a fight for informed consent and payment for the creation and use of digital replicas and training AI on members’ performances.

Other unions in the video game industry have launched in the last year including Sega workers and Microsoft’s video game testers.

While the strike for actors continues, the Writer’s Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced a tentative agreement that still needs to be voted on. That strike has lasted over 146 days.