Voice Performance Strike Reaching a Tentative Deal with Major Games Companies

The Screen Actors Guild known as SAG-AFTRA may have reached a tentative deal with the games companies the group was striking against, which means the long running voice actors strike might be reaching an end.

The strike began in October of last year by the performance union SAG-AFTRA, mainly in opposition of WB Games, Activision Publishing, Insomniac Games, and a few other groups and projects. It has since become a reoccurring topic within the industry, with voices of both support and opposition coming from various groups and individuals. With this deal, the strike might be coming to an end in the near future.

Numerous agreements have been met, but to sum up the outstanding points, the union and companies have (again, tentatively) agreed to the following points:

– A new bonus structure for vocal performers following the game’s release for extra sessions (the current model says $75 USD for the first session, with a limit of $2,100 after 10 sessions)
– Increased transparency with voice actors (the actor will be told at least the project name of the game they’re working on, as well as its genre, if it’s based on an already released IP, and if the actor is reprising a role).
– Disclosure on if the project will require the voice actor to be involved in the use of racial slurs/profanity/sexual or violent content/stunts (such as mo-cap), and “unusual terminology.”

There is also an agreement to continue to work with the guild on the matter of vocal stress caused by extended voice acting sessions, though the parameters of this are less defined.

The union made a note of several requests from the games companies they were in contact with that the current deal doesn’t include:

– A fine for vocal performers who were late or distracted during sessions.
– A reduced pay for voice actors who only performed “atmospheric voice work” (refusal of which would have been met with fines and a possible revocation of their union franchise)
– A clause that would allow an employer to use their permanent staff to do covered work outside of their collective bargaining agreement.

The strike has been the longest in the union’s history, surpassing even SAG’s strike in 2000 regarding payments for actors’ work in advertising, which ran for 183 days.

The deal is not yet certain; the above points are going to be discussed by SAG-AFTRA’s national board this coming October. Whatever response the board has will likely be disclosed in this time-frame.

Source: Deadline.

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