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It’s game time: SAG-AFTRA video game industry members nearly all voted yes to strike

We’re talking 98% of the SAG-AFTRA union members said yes.

The unions are, ironically, working overtime lately. We recently reported on the imminent vote for video game actors to join the fight, and, well, they didn’t disappoint.

SAG-AFTRA, if you haven’t been paying attention to the news over the past several months, has been hitting Hollywood pretty hard. Not only was the WGA (Writers Guild of America) in an even longer strike against Hollywood, but the actors were striking as well, hitting from two sides.

Now, SAG-AFTRA is out for blood when it comes to the video game industry. Voice actors are pretty notoriously underpaid for their work in video games and they all agree that should change.

We’re not talking about some of them either. They held their official vote and had an overwhelming 98.32% of voters say yes to the strike out of 34,687 member votes.

This does not mean that they are striking just yet. It just means that SAG-AFTRA has demands and, if the terms or some sort of agreement are not met, they can immediately call for a strike without hesitation.

The terms are under what’s called the Interactive Media Agreement and they’ve been in negotiations since way back in October 2022. The companies, some of the largest in the industry, have not offered acceptable terms to agree upon. After nearly a year, it’s come to a head.

The bargaining session starts today and lasts until September 28th. Now that the strike authorization has been voted for, if the game publishers refuse to meet terms this week, a strike can come as soon as this Friday.

Fran Drescher, president of SAG-AFTRA and The Nanny herself, is done “playing games”. She explained their stance on the game companies.

“It’s time for the video game companies to stop playing games and get serious about reaching an agreement on this contract,” said Drescher. “The result of this vote shows our membership understands the existential nature of these negotiations, and that the time is now for these companies — which are making billions of dollars and paying their CEOs lavishly — to give our performers an agreement that keeps performing in video games as a viable career.”

These companies, as mentioned, are among the biggest in the entire industry. Getting to an agreement with them would be a game-changer for any negotiations moving forward.

They include (in alphabetical order):

  • Activision Productions Inc

  • Blindlight LLC

  • Disney Character Voices Inc.

  • Electronic Arts Productions Inc.

  • Formosa Interactive LLC

  • Insomniac Games Inc.

  • Epic Games

  • Take 2 Productions Inc.

  • VoiceWorks Productions Inc.

  • WB Games Inc.

After 5 rounds of bargaining, the companies still won’t budge. While it’ll likely affect release timelines for video games in the future, it’s time for action. SAG-AFTRA has got this.

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