A recent article on Gamasutra reminded the gaming industry that the SAG-AFTRA voice actor strike is still continuing, with the union still targeting the 11 video game publishing studios.
They pull quotes from a rep for the publishers who explained why they haven’t modified their deal any further than what they offered SAG back during the initial phases of the strike. The rep, Sam Singer, explained…
“We have calculated that video game performers are less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all the people who work on video games,” […] “We can’t reward one set of people and not take into account 99 percent of other people who don’t have that kind of compensation. It’s not fair to the vast majority.”
Minority versus majority. It seems to be a common theme in the art and media world as of late.
SAG proposed that for every 2 million unit sales voice actors get a percentage of the royalties. Publishers quickly shot down that proposal and offered a counter proposal involving higher upfront payment regardless of the size of the project, more session breaks, fewer sessions, and more job security. However, SAG denied the counter offer.
Famed composer Tommy Tallarico, who did the original soundtrack for Out of this World, posed the possibility of creating a major rift in how employees at major studios are compensated if the royalty factor was taken into consideration, saying…
“What if actors get royalties and the programmers don’t? You can imagine what that could trigger. The reality is that it should.”
However, outside of sites heavily entrenched in progressive politics, the rest of the gaming world seems to be moving on as if nothing’s happened.
Press releases summarily haven’t changed. Other voice actors outside of SAG are still regularly getting work; heck just recently Scarlet Moon Productions announced that Nier: Automata vocalists Emi Evans joined their artist roster.
Scarlet Moon Productions producer Jayson Napolitano explained that not only did Evans join their roster, but they’ve already secured her new projects, stating…
“I’ve been following Emi’s work since her first foray into games with the Etrian Odyssey 2 arrange album,” […] “It’s such a huge honor to work with her in this capacity, and we already have new projects in the works!”
If you only read certain websites with an agenda to push, the SAG strike might seem like a huge deal, but the whole thing seems to have fizzled for as far as discussions are concerned inside the actual gaming community. The PerformanceMatters hashtag hasn’t been trending for a while, and any progress or involvement with the strike has sort of faded from large social media discussions outside of the SAG circles.
The real question becomes: how long will SAG keep it up before the strike is readily forgotten by everyone not involved with it?