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Actors like videogames again!

Internal pay dispute ends at last.

The Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) has renewed its contract to supply work for the games industry after a long running internal debate over the pay of voice actors left negotiations in limbo.

SAG members initially approved of a proposed Interactive Media Agreement that would see a pay increase for actors lending their voice talents to the games industry, with publishers including Electronic Arts and Activision negotiating to up payments by 36 per cent over three and a half years, starting with an instant 25 per cent increase. This was refused by the SAG National Executive Committee after it failed to meet their demands, resulting in another vote between Board and Committee to reconsider the agreement. The poll showed a margin of 81.2 percent to 18.8 percent in favour of the agreement, jointly approved by sister union American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).

The new three and a half year contract was agreed on July 29th and will run through to December 31th, 2008. It provides a 36 per cent increase in minimum pay, with more contributions to benefit plans and other services, although does not offer voice actors residuals based on title sales after claims were fought over residuals made on games that sell in excess of 400,000 copies.

The issue over residuals provided the main reason for disputes within the two unions and the videogame companies, and it is expected to be a point of debate once the current contract runs its course in 2008.