On September 25, 2023, members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike against video game companies. The vote comes after months of failed negotiations over a new contract.
SAG-AFTRA is representing over 250,000 video game voice actors and performers in the negotiations. The union is seeking a number of improvements to the current contract, including:
Protections from AI
Mandatory rest periods for on-camera performance capture actors
Video game voice actors have long been underpaid and undervalued, despite the fact that their work is essential to the success of many games. The strike authorization is a sign that video game workers are no longer willing to accept the status quo.
The strike authorization does not mean that a strike is inevitable. SAG-AFTRA has said that it is still committed to reaching a negotiated settlement with video game companies. However, the strike authorization gives the union the power to call a strike if necessary.
If a strike does occur, it would have a significant impact on the video game industry. Many games are in development and would have to be delayed or even canceled if video game voice actors were not able to work. The strike would also be a major financial blow to video game companies.
The strike authorization is a strong message from video game workers that they are demanding fair treatment and respect. It is also a reminder to video game companies that they need to do more to support the workers who create their games.