Nolan North Addresses SAG Strike During Game Awards Speech
(Last Updated On: December 2, 2016)

During this year’s Game Awards hosted by Geoff Keighley, Nolan North managed to secure the performance of the year award for his portrayal of Nathan Drake in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. When it was time to receive his award on stage, he managed to take a moment to not only thank his wife and kids along with Uncharted directors Amy Hennig and Neil Druckmann, but he also addresses the elephant in the room in the form of #PerformanceMatters and the SAG strike currently taking place.

There’s a video of Nolan’s acceptance speech up on The Game Awards YouTube channel that you can check out below.

For the hearing impaired, North states…

“I want to thank a group of people at Naughty Dog — it’s them as a whole.


“I’m hearing a lot of talk lately about how ‘performance matters’… and it does. The performance of every designer, every programmer, every artist, every hard working talented person at that office – not only Naughty Dog but all the developers I’ve worked with, but Naughty Dog in particular […] – that performance is so important.


“[The developers] are so talented, they are so hard working, and… their performance matters more than mine. That’s important to understand in this day and age with all the talk going back and forth. Because without their performance, my performance would not only not matter, it wouldn’t exist.”

As Nolan uttered these words while holding back choked tears through glassy eyes, Insomniac Games’ CEO Ted Price let the hint of a slight smile crack upon his face, nodding ever-so-slightly at Nolan’s words.

It was a speech that acknowledged the one topic that hasn’t been discussed during the SAG strike: that games don’t exist without game developers.

SAG has been picketing out front of the offices of places like Electronic Arts, Insomniac Games and Warner Bros., but so far publishers haven’t given in to their demands.

Nolan North has previously been awfully quiet about the strike, but now we know exactly where he stands. A lot of gamers have found the strike to be quite silly given that voice actors still have relatively little pull when it comes to helping market the game. Every so often there’s stuff like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Beyond: Two Souls where the actor’s likeness and performance is actually used as a selling point, but beyond that most actors are there to lend their talents to creations put together by artists, engineers and designers.

SAG has yet to say how long the strike will go on, but publishers don’t seem to mind waiting it out.

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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.

  • Mark W

    What bothers me out of all of this, is that the union didn’t allow their members to vote on the last proposal – which included several concessions and a cushy pay raise for the voice actors – prior to striking. They (the union leaders) wouldn’t budge on the revenue sharing, and THAT is a deal breaker for the publishers.

    • Yep, it’s been repeated a couple of times now that the pubs did offer them a pay raise and cede on a couple of requests but they wouldn’t let the members vote on the new proposal.

  • static5225

    F***in GAF and their hyperbolic regressive responses to North’s speech… -_-

  • C G Saturation

    Nathan Drake – one of the seemingly few English male characters who doesn’t constantly growl in a desperate attempt to sound “badass” when he talks.

  • Migi

    Nolan north just pointed out how ungrateful most Voice actors are, Cause in the end compared to so many working class ppl they basicly get a cozy job. instead of grueling overhours and dirty work so ppl have to do for a living.

    • Huzaifa Ahmed

      No, what Nolan was saying is that we all deserve better & while VAs have a union that helps them bargain – we should take this opportunity to bring attention to those who ultimately matter *most* in video games, & that is the coders & artists who take the brunt of the video game industry’s mistreatment of workers.

      Nolan realizes that *he* has a comfy-ish job due to his standing, but he *put in the work* to get there, & most VAs cant bargain as well as he can (obviously), & that there definitely should be better conditions overall, for those less fortunate than him.

  • Muten

    Kinda pointing out the obvious there, so i guess the strike had some impact then or no?

    I bet plenty of new talent see the strike as a opportunity.

  • I’ll concede with Nolan on this: the games wouldn’t exist without the developers. I will say, though, that gaming companies could always help both groups more instead of one way or the other. If developers strike as well as a result of SAG-AFTRA, I’ll support their effort, too.

    • xot

      Developers can’t strike without a union. If they try, they’ll just be fired. There are thousands of kids lining up to take their place.

      • In that case, I believe they deserve a union. I see no reason why they shouldn’t.

      • Mr Snow

        software engineers and comp sci majors aren’t graduating in thousands.

        • But artists are.

          Majority of the industry is made up of artists. Programmers/engineers are rarity since technically they can make bank on their own, either designing their own code and selling it or making engines and selling them, or making middleware, etc., etc., etc.

          I just don’t see a strike working given that majority of it would fall on artists to strike, and those artists CAN be replaced rather easily. And if push comes to shove, tools these days are convenient enough that a competent programmer can buy assets off the middleware stores and build a game without requiring artists.

          So I think — and xot can correct me if I’m wrong — xot is more-so talking about the overall effect of the strike and not necessarily just the engineers and programmers.