Screen Actors Guild, SAG-AFTRA, has reached a tentative deal with major video game companies to end its strike which kicked off late last year.
The new deal — which is pending approval of the union’s board of directors — includes a new bonus structure that will see performers receive additional payment after the game’s release, starting at $75 USD for the first session and capping out $2100 after 10 sessions have been worked.
The deal also addresses transparency issues, and will now require game companies to disclose at the very least the code name of the project to the voice performer, as well as the game’s genre, whether the game is based on a previously established intellectual property, and whether or not the actor is reprising a prior role.
Further, SAG-AFTRA members will also now be protected by the disclosure of whether they will be required to use unusual terminology, racial slurs or profanity, whether there will sexual or violent content, and whether or not stunts will be required.
The deal also contains an employee commitment to continue to work with the Screen Actors Guild on the issue of vocal stress during the term of the agreement. According to the union, the agreement doesn’t include several proposals requested by the game companies, including: a provision that would have fined performers for being late or distracted at a session, that would have required agents to submit performers for low-paying ” atmospheric voice” sessions or face fines and possible revocation of their union franchise, and another that would enabled employers to utilize their permanent staff to do covered work outside of the collective bargaining agreement.
SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris made the following statement about the deal:
“This is an important advance in this critical industry space.m We secured a number of gains including for the first time, a secondary payment structure which was one of the members’ key concerns. The courage of our members and their fortitude these many months has been admirable and I salute them. We are always stronger together.”
Scott Witlin, the Screen Actors Guild’s chief negotiator, added:
“We want to thank our counterparts at SAG-AFTRA for their efforts to conclude this labor dispute and reach a deal that will bring SAG-AFTRA members back to work on upcoming video game projects. The video game companies and SAG-AFTRA both worked hard to reach this deal and end the strike.”
The strike, which launched back in October of last year, was against 11 major companies, including WB Games, Electronic Arts, Activision, and Take-Two Interactive. It has notably been the longest in the union’s history, surpassing 2000’s strike, which lasted 183 days.
The agreement will be reviewed by SAG-AFTRA’ national board at its meeting this October.