As one of the twin Hollywood strikes appears to be winding down, SAG-AFTRA has voted to approve strike authorization for video game performers covered under the union’s interactive media agreement. Earlier this week, the writers’ half of the Hollywood strikes reached a tentative agreement that may bring that standoff to an end, but the actors strike is still ongoing — and now with a new strike from video game performers looming should negotiations fail.
Though strike authorization was granted with a 98 percent approval vote, only 27 percent of eligible members voted. Strike authorization approval does not mean that video game voice actors and motion capture performers are now on strike. However, should contract negotiations reach an impasse, members covered under the interactive media agreement now have permission to strike.
Some of the biggest video game publishers in the industry are in negotiations with SAG-AFTRA, including Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Insomniac Games, Take-Two Interactive, Epic Games, and Warner Bros. Games. As with the writers and actors strike, members are fighting for increased wages and protections for their voice and likeness from AI.
“It’s time for the video game companies to stop playing games and get serious about reaching an agreement on this contract,” said SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher.
Contract negotiations are set to continue the rest of this week. Should SAG-AFTRA call for a strike, games published by these studios — notable among them the forthcoming Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 — would become struck work.