Voice Actors Only Earn 0.03% Of Call Of Duty’s $15 Billion Total Revenue, Says SAG
(Last Updated On: November 6, 2016)

SAG-AFTRA has continued to make statements and offer their wisdom on the tech and game industry when it comes to voice actors and residual compensation, making a somewhat cogent point about the Call of Duty series in light of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare recently releasing for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Blues reposted the entire statement, which explains that since 2003 the Call of Duty franchise has amassed more than $15 billion in revenue and voice actors have only been paid 0.03% of it… according to SAG-AFTRA’s own figures, of course.

SAG-AFTRA president, Gabrielle Carteris, explained…

“SAG-AFTRA understands that the great majority of work done on the ‘Call of Duty’ franchise was done by committed teams of animators, coders and developers — workers who were often required to put in twelve-fourteen hour days, seven days a week for months at a time,”


“While we applaud these herculean efforts, we believe that the culture of exploitation that exists in all aspects of the video game industry must come to an end.”

It’s true that a large part of the appeal of Call of Duty‘s campaign mode is in the performance capture and Hollywood-sized set pieces. A lot of hard work from voice and performance capture artists goes into bringing the cinematic elements of Call of Duty to life.

However… majority of video games are not Call of Duty. Majority of video games (other than Battlefield, GTA and FIFA) don’t make Call of Duty money. This would mean smaller budget games using union members would have to account operating costs for voice actor residuals, assuming a game hits multi-million selling milestones.

While the argument for residuals has been the stopping point with the negotiations between publishers and SAG, the real issue is that most people are saying that if anyone deserves residuals, it’s the game developers. However, that would mean the developers would have to unionize. It’s a topic that’s been avoided by a lot of publishers and one that they really don’t want to have to deal with given the way the business works, and how they can currently exploit contractors and independent workers within the industry.

For now, it seems like there’s going to continue to be a standstill between publishers and SAG, but that’s mostly because the publishers hold all the cards and they can very well dip into other talent pools outside of the union if they have to.

Ads (learn more about our advertising policies here)


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.

  • Richard

    I was bored. 0.03 Percent of 15 Billion dollars, if I did the math right, is still 450 Million dollars. I don’t know how many voice actors are in jobs, but 450 Million split between say 1500 people is still 450 Thousand.

  • Γεώργιος Αρχαιοκαπηλίδης

    When will these special snowflakes realize that they are just voice actors and not Holywood stars? No wonder why they side with anti-GG SJWs: they are both spoiled professional victims.

  • C G Saturation


  • Ax

    oh poor VAs, they barely put any effort on a work they do CONTRACT BASED where the value they gonna get is completely SPECIFIED and they can turn it down if they feel is too low, Do you now who usually also DON’T GET PAYED based on SALES? the very people who MADE THE GODDAMN GAME, like programmers for example.

    • anopolis

      this shit is why unions have bad names…they really should put their collective heads together and really ponder upon when would be a good time to voice their opinions and when to shut the ever loving fuck up and stop crying like little bitches. the only people that are going to have any sympathy for these whiney shits is other whiney shit bitches.

  • LurkerJK

    Lol this is turning into a wage gap thing isnt it?

    So what percentage of man hours was contributed by the voice actors hmm?

    How much money did they invest on the game ?
    How much did they risk on the game success?

    • “Lol this is turning into a wage gap thing isnt it?”

      Not yet just. The cells in the tumour are pre-malignant.

      The malignancy will come when it turns into a gender wage gap.

  • anopolis

    i’m not part of sag at all..but if i’m not mistaken these guys are offered a job, upon receiving said offer, they either accept or refuse..then sign their name saying “yes, I’ll do this for this amount of money.” unless WB and company are forcing these poor fools to lend their voice against their will, I fail to see the problem. Don’t agree to the terms, go get a different job..i’f my employer offered me 1.25 an hour to do what I do..I’d reject that offer and move on…

  • Mr Snow

    Turns out voice actors do about 0.03% of the work that goes into making a game.

  • durka durka

    GOOD maybe that way they stop focusing on scripted cut scenes so much, i mean do we really want to encourage them to line up for auditioning on cod? Will cod improve by having more Kevin spaceys? Does every fucking game gotta have Nolan North and Troy Baker as if these fuckers dont have enough money and still will work for a sandwich judging by how little this SAG-AFTRA organization claims they make.

    • LurkerJK

      The fact Nolan north is in EVERY GAME tells me that the time and effort required for his part is very very small

      So small they can work on many at the time

      Ask developers if they have time to work on two games

      • durka durka

        Troy Baker is worse, he is good looking and all he does is say a couple of lines and make money out of it.

        • The dude is so good looking that when you look up “Why is my boyfriend so jealous?” there’s a blurb under Troy Baker’s picture that reads “Because of this guy.”