Video game voice-actor strike might finally be over

Enlarge (credit: SAG-AFTRA)

Eleven months of haggling between striking voice actors and video game producers appear to finally be over, according to an announcement from acting union SAG-AFTRA issued on Monday. The strike's biggest sticking point, regarding "secondary compensation" (aka royalties or residuals), appears to favor game publishers, not actors.

SAG-AFTRA's statement confirmed that the two sides have tentatively agreed to a "new bonus structure" that will pay games' union-member voice actors additional cash if the game they worked on sees commerical release. This sliding-scale bonus payment appears to be firm for all actors, with a single voice-acting "session" earning an actor an additional $75 and up to $2,100 if the actor worked at least 10 sessions for the game in question. (The meaning of "session" was not clarified.)

This differs from SAG-AFTRA's original demand of royalty payments based on a game's sales. The union's proposal sought a royalty for voice actors whose games exceeded 2 million copies of sales, with more royalties kicking in at the 4, 6, and 8 million sales levels. SAG-AFTRA never went public with the payment amounts they sought for those sales levels, so it's unclear how much less (or more) game publishers will pay out for this flatter, "if a game comes out at all" bonus system.

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