PDA

View Full Version : SAG-AFTRA Union Calls For A Video Game Strike


The Deadman
10-17-2016, 12:39 PM
http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2016/10/17/sag-aftra-union-calls-for-a-video-game-strike.aspx

The national board of directors for SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) has called a strike starting at midnight on October 21 for members performing video game work. This includes voice actors, mo-cap actors, and more. The union is currently in contract negotiations with game publishers, and hopes to address actors' working conditions.

The two sides return to the bargaining table today through October 19, but the union says, "Based on past experience, we are not confident management is willing to make the changes necessary to bring this contract up to the standards of our other agreements."

According to SAG-AFTRA, the sticking-point issues include royalties, stressful vocal sessions, and more transparency about jobs. For their part, the publishers want to fine actors for tardiness or "inattentiveness," fine agents who don't send clients out to all requested auditions, the ability to hire non-union voice actors, and more.

The strike order specifically mentions publisher/developers such as Electronic Arts, Take 2, Activision, and WB Games, among others, but SAG-AFTRA members working on games in production as of February 17 are exempt from the order

Ninjinister
10-17-2016, 07:25 PM
I support this.

snake
10-17-2016, 07:41 PM
Yeah, this seems like it's beneficial to the actors, so I'm for it

Autbot_Benz
10-21-2016, 04:51 PM
ya Tara Strong said this on twitter

tara strong ‏@tarastrong 8h8 hours ago

#performancematters Final straw 4 me was one of the negotiators looked in my eyes & said, "No one really cares about the voices"


That is disrespectful to Voice actors and there fans

Andrew NDB
10-21-2016, 04:53 PM
#performancematters Final straw 4 me was one of the negotiators looked in my eyes & said, "No one really cares about the voices"

That's not entirely untrue.

ProactiveMan
10-25-2016, 01:08 AM
Yeah, I donít want to be a jerk but with a few notable exceptions, your fan base as a VG voice actor isnít much of a bargaining chip. Most people probably donít care about the voices, or at least they donít care who does them. Theyíre building a castle on sand here to an extent; while there are games that live or die on the voice acting, and some of the voice work in games is excellent, most of it is serviceable at best, and a lot of it is cringeworthy.

Andrew NDB
10-28-2016, 04:58 PM
Yeah, I don’t want to be a jerk but with a few notable exceptions, your fan base as a VG voice actor isn’t much of a bargaining chip. Most people probably don’t care about the voices, or at least they don’t care who does them.

It's true. Most people can't even rattle off the names of who does the voice of what in anything. The Grand Theft Auto games stopped hiring A-list actors to do voices for their games when they figured out nobody cared, and if anything sales have gone way up since then. Only hardcore fans of things cared, and those hardcore fans don't count for much of the $, and even within those hardcore fans there's very little % of them that will actively stop buying games in a series that recast X voice actor.

The whole strike is a bit dumb, as there's nothing I'm aware of that would prevent game companies from just hiring non-guild voice actors to fill the roles. I mean, I'm sure they'd rather stick with guild actors if at all possible, but if the voice actors become huffity puffity wanting benefits and some stake of the profits and all that, there's really no incentive for them to play ball with that.

plastroncafe
10-28-2016, 05:28 PM
If they can't afford the cost of the talent required to make a game, they shouldn't make the game.

If they can't afford the voice talent, then make a game sans voices.

This is a multi-billion dollar industry. They may not be making more money based on name recognition, but that doesn't change the fact that those people providing the talent are working. They deserve to be fairly compensated for their work.

Andrew NDB
10-28-2016, 05:35 PM
If they can't afford the cost of the talent required to make a game, they shouldn't make the game.

If they can't afford the voice talent, then make a game sans voices.

This is a multi-billion dollar industry. They may not be making more money based on name recognition, but that doesn't change the fact that those people providing the talent are working. They deserve to be fairly compensated for their work.

Probably not more than the guys sitting there 16 hours a day crunching code and fine-toothing graphics engines. Not even close. Not by a mile. Not even more than the composer, or art directors.

Video games might be making as much profit as movies these days, but there's a whoooole lot more production cost involved, and about 90% less demanded of the (voice) actors.

Ninjinister
10-28-2016, 08:51 PM
Yeah, I donít want to be a jerk but with a few notable exceptions, your fan base as a VG voice actor isnít much of a bargaining chip. Most people probably donít care about the voices, or at least they donít care who does them. Theyíre building a castle on sand here to an extent; while there are games that live or die on the voice acting, and some of the voice work in games is excellent, most of it is serviceable at best, and a lot of it is cringeworthy.

That's not what it is at all. If you were on a union and you went on strike for better quality all-round in your job, would you want the argument to be to tell you, to your face, that they won't listen to your demands because nobody cares about your job? That's pretty spiteful and massively dickish.

plastroncafe
10-29-2016, 01:14 PM
Probably not more than the guys sitting there 16 hours a day crunching code and fine-toothing graphics engines. Not even close. Not by a mile. Not even more than the composer, or art directors.

Video games might be making as much profit as movies these days, but there's a whoooole lot more production cost involved, and about 90% less demanded of the (voice) actors.

Man, those people should unionize.

ProactiveMan
11-02-2016, 05:03 AM
That's not what it is at all. If you were on a union and you went on strike for better quality all-round in your job, would you want the argument to be to tell you, to your face, that they won't listen to your demands because nobody cares about your job? That's pretty spiteful and massively dickish.

Likeís got nothing to do with it. Nobody likes being told that their employer doesnít value their on their contribution as highly as they would like, but thatís the way it is. Take it from someone working in a field that no one gives a sh*t about Ė the value of my skills and experience are questioned constantly. I donít like it, but before I swing into a salary review on a chandelier and demand more money, I have to consider the reality of my situation. There is a point where paying me more, and outsourcing my job cost the same, and they donít gotta pay benefits to contractors.

So yeah, telling someone their job is only so valuable is nasty, but itís also true.

Iím not against unionised labour, I donít think voice acting is worthless, if the actors arenít being paid fairly, Iím happy that they have a mechanism to correct that. Fair is subjective in this case though, and it doesnít change the fact that most people donít give a toss who does the voices, and that limits their bargaining power.

Shark_Blade
11-02-2016, 05:14 AM
They don't care about voices?

If suddenly Sora, Donald and Goofy changes to voices I never heard of, I'd be pissed.

That goes to other great games as well, it takes talent to do voice acting.

Ninjinister
11-02-2016, 04:14 PM
Likeís got nothing to do with it. Nobody likes being told that their employer doesnít value their on their contribution as highly as they would like, but thatís the way it is. Take it from someone working in a field that no one gives a sh*t about Ė the value of my skills and experience are questioned constantly. I donít like it, but before I swing into a salary review on a chandelier and demand more money, I have to consider the reality of my situation. There is a point where paying me more, and outsourcing my job cost the same, and they donít gotta pay benefits to contractors.

So yeah, telling someone their job is only so valuable is nasty, but itís also true.

Iím not against unionised labour, I donít think voice acting is worthless, if the actors arenít being paid fairly, Iím happy that they have a mechanism to correct that. Fair is subjective in this case though, and it doesnít change the fact that most people donít give a toss who does the voices, and that limits their bargaining power.

I still don't think you're looking at it clearly. At one point did anyone "leverage" their fan base?

The Deadman
11-02-2016, 06:03 PM
Fair is subjective in this case though, and it doesnít change the fact that most people donít give a toss who does the voices, and that limits their bargaining power.

Yet people were up in arms when they switched voice actors for Metal Gear Solid and Hitman, so yeah...they DO care.

Andrew NDB
11-02-2016, 06:05 PM
Yet people were up in arms when they switched voice actors for Metal Gear Solid and Hitman, so yeah...they DO care.

I'm sure the sales took a huge pounding as a result.

https://media.giphy.com/media/VrSZDlpRaHYje/giphy.gif