SAG-AFTRA Video Game Strike Begins

SAG AFTRA HQ Signage - P 2015

SAG AFTRA HQ Signage - P 2015

The first Hollywood strike in almost a decade is unlikely to be as disruptive as the WGA walkout, but the effect on video games is unclear at present.

SAG-AFTRA went on strike against the video game industry at 12:01 a.m. Friday morning in what is Hollywood’s first strike in almost a decade, since the traumatic Writers Guild action of 2007-08 and the ensuing SAG stalemate that lasted another year.

Those strikes were about the residuals and new technologies — and so is this one. The union wants “secondary payments” — halfway residuals — for successful video games, but the industry is refusing to grant such compensation.

SAG-AFTRA is striking the following video game employers: 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.; and WB Games, Inc. The strike covers all games made by these companies that went into production after Feb. 17, 2015.

The union’s official strike notice to members says: “The National Board of Directors instructs all SAG-AFTRA members to withhold performing services and auditioning for work under the Interactive Media Agreement with respect to struck games for the following struck employers effective midnight of October 21, 2016. All covered services must be withheld, including, but not limited to: voice acting; motion or performance capture work; background work; principal on camera work (including singing, dancing and performing stunts); authorizing the use of your voice or of a sound-a-like voice in a videogame; consenting to the reuse of prior work into a struck game; performing on a trailer for a struck game and performing on ‘downloadable content (DLC)’ or other ancillary content connected to a struck game.”

SAG-AFTRA members will picket Electronic Arts in Playa Vista, Calif. at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 24.