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AFTRA Approves New Contract For Game Voice Actors

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has approved a new, three-and-a-half year contract covering video game voice acting work, including a new fee for games sold on cloud gaming services.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has approved a new, three-and-a-half year contract covering video game voice recording work, including a first-of-its-kind fee for games made available on cloud gaming services. 85 percent of 1,916 voting AFTRA members decided to approve the new contract, which replaces an agreement that expired at the end of June. The new agreement is retroactive through July 1 and will be effective through the end of 2014. The contract, first proposed to members in June, sets the minimum fee for a four-hour recording session at $809, up 4 percent from the previous contract. The minimum will increase another 2 percent, to $825, in May of 2013. "I am so pleased and proud that AFTRA members have ratified this new agreement," said Gabrielle Carteris, co-chair of the AFTRA Interactive Negotiating Committee, in a statement. "We now have sufficient time to grow more work for members, harness our resources, organize performers and prepare for future negotiations." AFTRA members who do work on games sold and distributed through streaming services will now also be entitled to an additional royalty fee, in addition to a one-time 15 percent session fee paid to principal performers on streaming games. "Cloud gaming is where this industry is headed and AFTRA is in on the ground floor," said Mathis L. Dunn, Jr., AFTRA Chief Negotiator and Assistant National Executive Director. "This is a significant victory for AFTRA members." Barnes & Thornburg LLP's Scott J. Witlin, who represented the game industry in the negotiations, expressed happiness that both sides were able to "settle disputes that created some uncertainty and promote game development in areas of emerging technology." AFTRA has represented vocal workers in the video game industry since 1990. In 2005, thr group joined with the Screen Actors Guild to threaten an industry-wide strike before eventually signing a deal.

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