Will Video Game Voice Actors Go on Strike?
Video game voice actors have some serious complaints about how they’re treated and paid. The complaints are so serious that it could affect the production of all video games that have gone into production since February 2015. If SAG-AFTRA, the video game voice actor worker’s union, doesn’t reach an agreement with industry developer giants, they may decide to go on strike. Maybe you should buy that Pac-Man arcade game for sale – you may need it sooner rather than later. Why Are They Unhappy? Workers want their vocal work sessions to be limited to two hours. They claim that right now, they work four hour shifts and the excessive strain on their voices has resulted in vocal chord injuries that affect their performance. They also claim that workers are commonly injured while on the job. At times, they perform while conducting physical movements that they may not be prepared for. They want a stunt coordinator present at all times to monitor their work and make sure they aren’t asked to do anything outside of their abilities. Video game voice actors aren’t paid any residuals from the sale of the games they are involved in. They are asking for a one-time bonus if one of their games sells at least two million copies. Finally, they’re upset because they aren’t fully informed about their role before accepting a job. Video game developers try to keep information about their games a secret, so sometimes actors have no idea who they are playing. They are calling for more transparency to allow them to prepare to do their job more effectively. Will They Reach an Agreement? Industry giants say they’re doing everything they can to meet the demands of the voice actor’s union, but if a strike occurs, no union members will work on any games in development from Activision, Disney, Electronic Arts and more. Of course, not all voice actors are union members, so some voice actors will continue to work, and may gain a surplus of work if a strike does occur. On October 19th, a federal mediator was called in to negotiate the deadlocked negotiations – who will come out on top?