Voice Actors Reach Agreement To End 11 Month Strike

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SAG-AFTRA announced that after an 11-month strike against game companies, a tentative agreement has been reached after the boycott began on 21st October 2016.

Video game voice actors represented by Hollywood’s biggest acting union has now reached a deal and the 11-month boycott has ended.

The tentative agreement does include secondary compensation, which will be tied to the number of recording sessions and not to sales of the game. Voice actors have been seeking royalty payments for performances in multimillion-selling games.

The statement from the agreement reads, “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.”

“This is an important advance in this critical industry space,” said Gabrielle Carteris, president of SAG-AFTRA. “We secured a number of gains including for the first time, a secondary payment structure which was one of the members’ key concerns.”

The second issue raised was ‘voice stress’ especially when delivering demanding lines such as cries and death scenes. Now, the agreement states that “an employer commitment to continue working with SAG-AFTRA on the issue.”

One of biggest victories is the transparency included in the agreement. SAG-AFTRA cited stories of actors being asked to voice sex scenes or racial slurs, without agreeing to the material beforehand. This is due to the publisher’s secrecy, to avoid leaks on unannounced titles.

“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,” said Ray Rodriguez, SAG-AFTRA’s chief contract officer and the new contract’s lead negotiator. “Members are also protected by the disclosure of whether they will be required 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.”

The agreement hasn’t been signed off yet, and the SAG-AFTRA national board will review the contract in October.

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Gina
Favourite games include Heavy Rain, Grim Fandango and Borderlands. Gina loves a good narrative, with interesting quirky characters. She's currently playing Ori and The Blind Forest and just finished Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and Firewatch. Follow Gina on the community!