Union voice actors represented by SAG-AFTRA have begun a strike against 8 of the largest video game makers after failing to reach an agreement for a new contract to replace the one that expired in 2014.
Two of the main reasons for the work stoppage:
The actors asked for a reduction in work sessions from four hours to two citing the strain on voices from extended screaming or yelling. The game makers said no.
The actors are asking for a share in additional profits from sales of games as they reach higher revenue levels. The game makers offered a flat 9% raise.
Video games take time to produce and an extended strike could jeopardize the timely release of games such as Madden NFL 17.
What does this mean for a character voice actor?
If you are a member of SAG-AFTRA then you are not working on any productions of the 8 companies named in the strike. If you are non-union then it gets tricky. The game producers may wait until a new contract is agreed and in place before moving forward with their games. They may hire non-union talent to complete or begin new work. You may receive casting calls or audition requests for video games. Responding and voicing in a major label game is certainly a resume builder. Be advised that the companies will probably go back to the existing talent when they can. The union and the actors could remember who crossed the picket lines. It's your call.