Hundreds Of SAG Members Protest Outside Of EA’s Offices
(Last Updated On: October 25, 2016)

The Screen Actors Guild – American Film Federation of Television and Radio Artists followed through with their strike, as promised. They mentioned that they would be picketing the offices of Electronic Arts, and they followed through with that as well.

GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that various other unions have come out in support of SAG, including the Writer’s Guild of America, the Musicians Union and the Teamsters. More than 250 people were picketing outside of Electronic Arts’ offices.

According to a PR statement on the PR Newswire issued by the law firm representing the publishers, Barnes & Thornburg, Scott J. Witlin explains that many of the demands from SAG have been met, including ongoing discussions regarding stunt coordinators, a proposal to break down four hour work sessions into two hour sessions spread across five days, a 0.5% increase in health and pension benefits, and a 9% wage increase.

The one thing that they were still reticent on was divulging details about a project in development. They would be willing to offer codenames of projects and inform some performers if they would be reprising a role.

According to Witlin, the publishers and game companies have stepped up to fulfill their duties, explaining..>

“These proposals exchanged across the table prove the Companies and SAG-AFTRA have largely agreed on the significant issues before us except for the label we have placed on the ‘Additional Compensation,’ which would be paid above and beyond our proposed 9% pay increase.

 

“The documents also demonstrate that the Companies value performers and reached agreement with the Union on the issue of vocal stress.”

According to SAG, they aren’t just interested in the upfront 9% increase but in the actual residuals.

SAG’s chief of contracts, Ray Rodriguez, explained that the upfront payment was just an option, but performers should still have residual payments available as part of the contract…

“”In the spirit of compromise, we made it [upfront] an option,” […] “but they’re taking advantage of that to make it look like we are having a dispute over terminology, when it fact our dispute is about the biggest dispute these parties have had in the 20-plus years that this contract has existed.”

SAG will continue to strike until amicable negotiations with the publishers and game companies are reached.


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About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Grey

    One issue with this is that there isn’t really any popular support. Gamers are widely either indifferent or hostile to their cause – if only on the basis of their demand of residuals (for my own part, I think most of their demands are reasonable outside of that one).

    The companies are going to notice that and just hire scabs till SAG burns itself out. The quality of voice acting in games is generally so poor anyway, we probably won’t even notice a change in quality.

    • The quality of voice acting in games is generally so poor anyway, we probably won’t even notice a change in quality.

      Especially for Japanese games! I think if SAG wants its members to be paid more, especially in residuals, they need to step up the quality. For Dragon Ball and Naruto games the FIRST thing I do is switch the voices over the original Japanese versions because they just sound better, same thing with Dynasty Warriors games and JRPGs.

      I would actually prefer it if more pubs went with scabs just to diversify the voice cast since most voice acting in Western games just isn’t very good to begin with.

  • Bitterbear

    Hundreds of voice actors? Why?

  • Mr Snow

    Never thought I’d be writing to EA to tell them I support their business decisions XD.

    What they do may be a skill, but it’s one millions of people have. Programmers on the other hand are not a dime a dozen. Well, not until a Clinton victory…

  • Ghost

    Their demands, I didn’t think, we’re all that unreasonable. In-fact, I thought they were pretty damn reasonable. Voice Actors are super underappreciated.

    • I agree that Japanese voice actors in the West are underappreciated. I can’t say the same for Western voice actors.

    • Mr Snow

      They are adequately appreciated. Voice Actors do not sell games.

  • Mr.Towel

    Maybe is VAs took their jobs more seriously they wouldn’t have to fight for respect.

    Respect can only be mutual.

  • I don’t understand why it’s hard for these companies to inform the actors what the role they’re playing is. “Ugh, they’ll leak the project!”, they say, even though NDAs already prevent them from doing that. Wouldn’t it make more sense to give people the full scope of the character they’re working on?

    • TBill

      It wouldn’t matter if they knew the role or not. The issue is that they can’t tell their next employer what work they have done until the NDA is released. Knowing the title or not is irrelevant.

    • Adrian Brody’s O face

      Because no one has ever violated an NDA before. The more people who have information on a project, the more likely that information will be discriminated to additional parties, intentionally or not. Even actors that are not actively violating their NDA’s tend to be careless with the information they have access to. Premature information leaking on a project can have a negative impact on the game’s development. During development, features that are eventually dropped from the final product due to design or functionality concerns, receive a decent amount of time and resources. Developers that aren’t in the habit of shooting themselves in the foot with prematurely announcing game features (hello games) could easily be placed in a bad situation from a careless or indignant voice actor.

      • Would you rather continue to have shitty voice acting for the sake of perceived dangers to secrecy, or would you rather have voice actors be informed so that they can can actually, you know, act?

    • Mr Snow

      Because there’s a lot more proprietary software involved in a game than there is in a TV show. And they aren’t asking for info about the role. They want info about the project, like the plot, the characters, etc and more. Because they want to make “socially conscious decisions” about accepting a role.

      If a game is using some kind of new innovation either in a gameplay mechanic or a programming style implementation, and someone blabs about it, a competitor can catch wind, and rush completion on a similar project to beat someone to the table.

      Imagine if Angry Birds was beaten to the field by an exact duplicate. That can ruin a business.

      But if the guy voicing the Night King in Game of Thrones says “Hey, I’m voicing the Night King and Jon Snow dies” no competitor is going to suddenly swoop in and make their own version of Game of Thrones that will insure nobody watches Game of Thrones.

      • >they want to make “socially conscious decisions” before accepting a role

        For the sake of Trust, but Verify, I’m going to need a source for that. If you’re referring to Steve Blum talking about offending material and him not being particularly clear by what he meant, then of course I don’t agree with that.