SAG-AFTRA voting on game actor strike

SAG-AFTRA voting on game actor strike

The Screen Actors Guild SAG-AFTRA members will soon be voting on whether to enact a strike for actors and performers in the video games industry.

In a post on the organisation's website, the union said that its national board had voted unanimously to put the matter to a vote. This is due to negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and publishers not going to plan; the union says that game companies have "failed to address" the needs that members have.

Similar to the ongoing Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA strikes on the TV and film side of things, members are worried about the impact of artificial intelligence on their work. They are also seeking wage increases in-line with inflation.

"SAG-AFTRA has continued to negotiate in good faith with the interactive media companies, but those companies remain determined to underpay performers while turning a blind eye to key tenets of performer safety and exploiting actors’ performances and likenesses without proper informed consent," the union wrote.

"For many performers, their first job may be their last, as companies become increasingly eager to scan our members or train AI with their voices as soon as they show up for work."

75 per cent of eligible members need to vote Yes for the strike to go ahead. SAG-AFTRA has been negotiating with games firms including Activision, EA, Epic, Insomniac, Take-Two and Warner Bros. 

Ballots will be sent to eligible members on September 5th; they have until September 25th to vote. 

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.