Later this week the SAG-AFTRA members who voted for a strike last year if certain monetary and safety conditions weren’t met by major video game publishers, will actually go on strike later this week on Friday, starting October 21st, if they can’t get anything accomplished in one final meeting.
Games Industry picked up the news from the official SAG-AFTRA website, where the actor’s guild announced that they will be holding one final discussion with major publishers before going in full strike mode. The discussion will take place between October 17th and October 19th.
According to an update post, the SAG committee wrote somberly that they aren’t confident that publishers will budge, stating…
“Based on past experience, we are not confident management is willing to make the changes necessary to bring this contract up to the standards of our other agreements. Unless you hear differently from us, effective Oct. 21 at 12:01 a.m., you should be prepared to strike the following video game employers with regard to all games that went into production after Feb. 17, 2015”
They rattle off a list of publishers, including many familiar faces.
|Activision Publishing, Inc.||Blindlight, LLC||Corps of Discovery Films|
|Disney Character Voices, Inc.||Electronic Arts Productions, Inc.||Formosa Interactive, LLC|
|Insomniac Games, Inc.||Interactive Associates, Inc.||Take 2 Interactive Software|
|VoiceWorks Productions, Inc.||WB Games, Inc.|
Yes, that’s right… that list includes Activision and Electronic Arts. That means every Madden, FIFA, NBA and NHL title in the works could be affected, along with every upcoming Battlefield, Medal of Honor and Star Wars game that could have entered into production after February, 2015.
Most interesting is that this means that if the strike does commence this weekend, every Call of Duty game currently in production will have to fire the voice actors and bring in new people.
The good part about games is that they can redo all the lines without having to worry about losing star power. However, if there are some big names attached who still have lines to complete and performance to capture, or if they have to go in for reshoots, this could put a serious damper on the production of the game.
However, most times they do the performance capture early on and knock that out of the way for some games and then work on the graphics, assets, and polishing up the levels and cinematics thereafter. They don’t have the traditional Hollywood shoots, so it’ll be interesting to see how this strike could affect games currently in development since last year. If you’re worried about a game like Red Dead‘s sequel, don’t be. If the game is due for release in 2017 or 2018 then it’s already been in development since before 2014.
Of course, games like Borderlands 3 would be severely impacted — since they started hiring and pre-production back in early 2015 — along with any game that BioWare or Rocksteady is working on, or heck any game in development under the listed publishing subsidiaries that have started work on their games after early 2015. That means most titles being affected are ones due for release in 2017, 2018 and 2019.