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Striking voice actors say some game companies are agreeing to royalties

SAG-AFTRA has spent over six months striking against 11 video game companies; it now claims other game companies are totally onboard with its demand for residual payments based on a game's sales.

Alex Wawro

May 22, 2017

1 Min Read

U.S. screen actors guild SAG-AFTRA has spent over six months striking against 11 video game companies in what it claims is an effort to (via renegotiated contract) improve working conditions and compensation for the voice actors it represents -- and it now claims some game companies are agreeing to its demand for voice actors to receive residuals based on a game's sales.

The news comes from the union itself, via its trade magazine (relayed by Deadline), and is important because the specific demand that SAG-AFTRA claims some companies are agreeing to -- that actors receive residual payment equal to a full day's wage for every 2 million units a game sells, up to a limit of four payments at 8 million sales -- has raised fresh questions about whether game devs should unionize.

However, it's also important to note that the union has not publicly disclosed which game companies have agreed to this residuals scheme. SAG-AFTRA has only said that 20 game companies and 30 games are onboard "under the same terms that the AAA companies have refused," implying that none of the 11 initial strike targets (including Electronic Arts, Insomniac, and more) have warmed to the notion of paying voice actors residuals on SAG-AFTRA's terms.

When the strike kicked off, representatives of the game companies targeted stated publicly that "the difference is more about semantics -- not about actual money for performers" and called on SAG-AFTRA to allow union members to vote to accept the companies' proposed contract.

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