Last month a slew of prominent video game voice actors voted to go on strike through the union SAG-AFTRA. That strike is now authorised with a whopping 96.52 per cent of union members having voted in its favour.
In order for the National Board to declare a strike it needed at least 75 per cent of union members to give the greenlight. Given the outcome, the Negotiating Committee will return to the bargaining table in hopes of coming to an agreement with various publishers for a new contract. The previous Interactive Media Agreement expired on 31st December last year and negotiations in both February and June failed to produce adequate results for the union.
"It is important to note that the referendum result does not mean that members are on strike, rather, it gives the National Board the authority to declare a strike," SAG-AFTRA noted in its announcement about the results. It sounds like that's going to happen unless various publishers can work something out with the union pronto.
Our previous report covered the details of what SAG-AFTRA was after, but the general gist is that it wanted actors to be entitled to residuals for games selling upwards of 2m copies, stunt coordinators on hand for risky motion-capture shoots, stunt pay for "vocally stressful" recording sessions, and more transparency in what their work would be used for.
Furthermore, the old union agreement would have allowed employers to fine actors up to $2500 for being inattentive. So technically one could be dinged that much for checking their phone and there would be nothing they could do about it.
Voice actors in favour of the strike included Jennifer Hale (Mass Effects), Ashly Burch (Life is Strange), Wil Wheaton (Broken Age), David Hayter (Metal Gear Solid), Steve Blum (Vanquish), Elias Toufexis (Deus Ex: Human Revolution), Sarah Elmaleh (Gone Home), Tara Strong (Batman: Arkham City) and more.
Will you support Eurogamer?
We want to make Eurogamer better, and that means better for our readers - not for algorithms. You can help! Become a supporter of Eurogamer and you can view the site completely ad-free, as well as gaining exclusive access to articles, podcasts and conversations that will bring you closer to the team, the stories, and the games we all love. Subscriptions start at £3.99 / $4.99 per month.