This means that games that could have begun development a year before that date but only hired voice actors after that date will potentially have their games delayed. Some of the developers/publishers that have been affected include Activision, Electronic Arts, Take-Two (2K Games), WB Games, and Insomniac Games.
According to the voice actors affiliated with acting guild SAG-AFTRA, they claim it’s not so much about the money but about the respect and safety of their profession. Keythe Farley, a voice actor/producer and the chair of the SAG-AFTRA Interactive committee said, “We’ve done nothing but invite them to recognize what is important to our performers. We do view the producers and developers as our partners.”
Voice actor Crispin Freeman adds, “We’re hurting — literally. Our voices and bodies are hurting. If I’m working on a major military game, I’m screaming for four hours. Even the best of us can damage our vocal chords.”
Representatives for the video game industry have since responded with a statement of their own from chief negotiator for the publishers, Scott Witlin which you can read in its entirety below:
“The Video Game Companies did everything in their power to reach agreement with union leaders, offering a money package almost identical to SAG-AFTRA’s last demand. We are greatly disappointed that SAG-AFTRA refuses to allow its members to have a democratic vote on our proposal and decide if the significant money on the table is acceptable to them. The strike is going to hurt the SAG-AFTRA performers that these Companies value.”
“The strike will have little to no immediate impact on the ability of fans to buy and play the video games they love as the majority of upcoming games already are in production–and the union is not permitted to strike most of the games due to the nature of the ‘No Strike Provisions’ of the interactive media agreement. The sad part is that the very performers who these Companies value–and who are impacted by the union decision to strike–never got a chance to vote on the Companies’ proposal.”
“We value our performers and their dedication. Many of the Companies and people on our committee are the best evangelists for the use of SAG-AFTRA members in this industry. It is unfortunate that SAG-AFTRA rushed into a strike that will immediately and directly take money out of their members’ pockets.”