Teased at earlier last week, the SAG-AFTRA, or the video game voice acting union, released a notice to members warning them that if they couldn't strike a better bargain with some higher-ups at some notoriously bad companies, they should be ready to strike by Friday. Friday came, Friday went, and while we were all distracted by Nintendo Switches and Battlefield 1's, it seems the stubborn payroll people have refused to budge: so, the strike has been announced.
"A last attempt to reach an agreement with video game employers this week was not successful. Management remains unwilling to agree to fair terms that would bring the interactive contract into the 21st century. Therefore, as of 12:01 a.m. PT today, SAG-AFTRA is on strike against the following video game employers with regard to all games that went into production after Feb. 17, 2015:"
- Activision Publishing, Inc.
- Blindlight, LLC
- Corps of Discovery Films
- Disney Character Voices, Inc.
- Electronic Arts Productions, Inc.
- Formosa Interactive, LLC
- Insomniac Games, Inc.
- Interactive Associates, Inc.
- Take 2 Interactive Software
- VoiceWorks Productions, Inc.
- WB Games, Inc."
Those are some pretty big names, on that list. The call for the strike urged solidarity from within the union, and from any voice actors not currently in the Union (as, ultimately, SAG-AFTRA only represents 25% of the voice acting talent in the games industry), and has also urged its users to start a picket line in front of EA's headquarters today, on the 24th of October.
Now, this is obviously a moderately big deal, but like most strikes, it's more a 'big picture' deal, so this is one of those things we'll have to just keep an eye on as days turn into weeks and the resolve of both parties are tested.
I'm holding out hope for the voice actors, but I'm not holding my breath...