After almost a year, the video game voice actor strike seems to be coming to an end, the SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) union has announced that it’s reached a ‘tentative agreement’ to end the industrial action against 11 major video game companies. So, if everything goes to plan and there are no last minute plot twists, the strike will end just before the year mark, having begun on October 21, 2016. Actors will now receive bonus payments according to each project, and also be given more transparency about what game they’re working on, and exactly what’s required of them.
‘The bonus payment, which is due no later than the release date of the game, is based on the number of sessions worked on each game, beginning with a $75 payment on the first session and totaling $2,100 after 10 sessions worked’, said the union in its press release. Actors will also be paid at least $100 per hour as part of the deal.
‘This is an important advance in this critical industry space. We secured a number of gains including for the first time, a secondary payment structure which was one of the members' key concerns,’ said the SAG-AFTRA president, Gabrielle Carteris, in a statement. This is the first time the union has secured a secondary pay structure for its members
SAG-AFTRA’s Chief Contracts Officer, Ray Rodriguez, has stated that the deal will also include significant improvements in the area of transparency. Rodriguez said that, ‘The new transparency provisions will enhance the bargaining power of our members’ representatives by requiring the companies to disclose the code name of project, its genre, whether the game is based on previously published intellectual property and whether the performer is reprising a prior role.’
Rodriguez also said that members would be informed if the role would require them to ‘use unusual terminology, profanity or racial slurs, whether there will be content of a sexual or violent nature and whether stunts will be required.’
This contract will reportedly stay in place for at least three years, and during this time SAG-AFTRA will continue to monitor the changing conditions for voice actors.