Video Game Voice Actors Strike Heats Up as Companies Call Foul

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Late last week, video game voice actors who belong to the union organization of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) went on strike. These actors declared their refusal to work with several prominent gaming publishers over lack of of residual compensation. Now, SAG-AFTRA has launched its first picket line for the strike, Deadline reports.

However, representatives of the 11 prominent gaming companies the voice actors are striking against (which includes Electronic Arts, Disney and Insomniac Games) are claiming that the strike is unfair. The companies have released documents they claim prove they matched the demands made by the union. They claim that the two sides has reached a general agreement before the strike went underway.

These proposals exchanged across the table prove the companies and SAG-AFTRA have largely agreed on the significant issues before us except for the label we have placed on the ‘Additional Compensation,' which would be paid above and beyond our proposed 9% pay increase," said the cheif negotiator, Scott J. Witlin.


One large issue raised by the union the companies claimed to have addressed is the issue of transparency, Kotaku reports. It is surprisingly common for video game voice actors to work on a title and have no idea what they're even working on. For instance, Keythe Farley voiced a main character on Fallout 4 and never even knew he was working on a Fallout title throughout the year-and-a-half of work he did on the game. "This benefits producers because agents aren't able to negotiate when they know an actor is working on a huge game," Farley said.

Companies still have not agreed to disclose titles, but have now agreed to reveal to actors if their roles are reocurring or involve slurs or sexual content. Another huge issue is safety precautions for the vocal strain experienced by voice actors, which the companies also claimed to have addressed.

I'm a little skeptical of the companies claims the strike is unfair, even if they claim they "mostly" reached an agreement before the strike, that's still just "mostly" and it's perfectly fine for employees to want more. What do you think of the strike? Is it fair? Or are the voice actors asking too much?