Update: The union has announced that its members have voted overwhelmingly – 90 percent to 10 – to approve the deal tentatively reached in September. Ten percent of the 7,200 affected members voted, and the agreement goes into effect today and runs through November 7, 2020.
Original Story: SAG-AFTRA has announced that they have reached a tentative agreement with the eleven video game companies to end the strike that started in October 2016.
The voice actors strike was called in 2016 when SAG-AFTRA and video game publishers were unable to agree on the issues of transparency, stunt coordination, and bonuses. In the case of transparency, voice actors were requesting to know more about their roles before they went in for the job, often being told nothing about character or even the game upon arrival. Stunt coordination was to have coordinators on set during motion capture sections to ensure that things are being handled safely and to minimize any risk of injury.
The most controversial point of contention was the bonuses, often mistakenly confused with residuals. SAG-AFTRA asked for bonuses when games sell well with a cap on the amount that would be paid out to performers. This raised the hackles of many developers who were upset and what they viewed as voice actors demanding preferential treatment while game developers have not been able to bargain for their own rights.
Our full rundown of SAG-AFTRA’s strike from January 2016 can be found here.
The effects have the strike have been felt recently in games like Life is Strange: Before the Storm and the upcoming No More Heroes, both losing their former voice talent due to the strike. The tentative agreement helped the two groups meet on bonuses, transparency, and more, hopefully making a better situation overall.