The SAG-AFTRA voice actor strike continues to hobble along, limping from one target to the next. This time the union organizers have targeted Insomniac Games, the makers of the Ratchet & Clank.
TechRaptor is reporting that the picket took place yesterday on November 17th between 11:30am PST and 1:30pm PST. 700 members came out to picket the development studio in an attempt to get them to give in to the demands of SAG-AFTRA. The strike has gone on for over a month, with the union striking against the following studios and companies.
- 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.
The publishers have gone on about their days with business as usual, but SAG is hoping they’ll change their mind at some point. The honest truth of the matter is that SAG really doesn’t have anything the publishers absolutely need. If it were a programmer strike, well then… things would have turned out very, very different. You’re not going to get anywhere making games without a programmer.
Nevertheless, Scott Witlin, chief negotiator for the publishers told Deadline that SAG is crippling their own members by not allowing them to vote on the new proposals made by the publishers, stating…
“It is inexplicable that SAG-AFTRA will not permit a democratic vote on a contract that currently offers its members an immediate 9% wage increase and Additional Compensation of up to $950 per game. How will the members feel when they lose that offer because SAG-AFTRA did not permit a timely ratification?
“Further the agreement is not “decades old.” The most recent agreement was renegotiated in 2011 and the concepts that we have put on the table is a ground breaking new form of compensation for performers.”
Given that the gaming industry relies so very little on voice actors, save for big-budget productions that try to mirror Hollywood, the strike has almost no effect on most gaming studios out there except for the really big studios that rely on Hollywood talent.
Ultimately, SAG will run out of places to picket and they’ll either have to concede and sign the new contract that the publishers have put on the table or go back to the way things used to be.