March 23, 2019 read, explore

A Potential Gaming Union Strike

The SAG-AFTRA acting union has stomped their feet and set their ground. The union representing “160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals” is demanding certain regulations and needs be met for voice actors working for large developers, and is now contemplating a strike, if the needs aren’t met.

Among the needs, they want to change how voice actors are paid, more specifically by incorporating a backend bonus. With backend bonuses, there’s less upfront fees, but after certain milestones are met (or even after the game is done, and certain development royalties are paid) voice actors would be getting better compensated for their work. The SAG-AFTRA union is demanding bonuses be paid for ever two million copies of a game sold. Obviously, this applies to large developers, but it’s being reported the union is looking to protect smaller-scale companies and voice actors as well, although no details have been given thus far.

According to IGN, if 75% of the union members decides to strike, the strike will happen, potentially delaying several games, both large and small. The union has also been encouraging non-union members to refrain from working, should the strike happen.

The SAG-AFTRA website describes things simply on their website:

“SAG-AFTRA is committed to organizing all work done under our jurisdictions; negotiating the best wages, working conditions, and health and pension benefits; preserving and expanding members’ work opportunities; vigorously enforcing our contracts; and protecting members against unauthorized use of their work.”

It seems every game, developer, and gamer is in the hands of these union members, since all that can be done is wait until a verdict is reached. Should the strike happen, many games could be delayed until the SAG-AFTRA demands are met, or a compromise is proposed.

Do you think developers are being fair, or that changes should be made? Let us know who’s side your on, and if you think the strike should happen in the comments below.

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