Video Game Voice Actor Strike Imminent, Warns SAG-AFTRA

Video Game Voice Actor Strike Imminent, Warns SAG-AFTRA

Talks between the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and video game industry employers have reached a deadlock, significantly raising the possibility of a strike. The union warns that a strike authorization could come in the next four to six weeks if key disagreements over issues like artificial intelligence (AI) use cannot be resolved.

Key Highlights

  • Negotiations at an impasse: Talks between SAG-AFTRA and video game companies have stalled.
  • AI a major sticking point: The union is concerned about the potential misuse of AI to replace voice actors and their likenesses.
  • Strike authorization imminent: SAG-AFTRA leadership warns they could call a strike in the next month or two.
  • Industry disruption likely: A strike would significantly impact video game development.

Video Game Voice Actor Strike Imminent, Warns SAG-AFTRA

Breakdown of the Dispute

SAG-AFTRA, the union representing voice actors, motion capture artists, and other performers in the video game industry, has been negotiating with major companies since 2022 for a new Interactive Media Agreement. This contract governs working conditions and compensation for video game performers.

The union’s National Executive Director, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, highlighted artificial intelligence as a major hurdle in reaching an agreement. SAG-AFTRA fears that unregulated AI could be used to mimic or replace performers without their consent or compensation. Additionally, they seek better pay, especially considering rising inflation, and improved safety measures for stunt performers.

Stalled Negotiations

After nearly a year of negotiations with big names like Activision, EA, Epic Games, Insomniac Games, Take-Two, and WB Games, SAG-AFTRA has expressed that progress has been unsatisfactory. Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s National Executive Director, has stated that a strike within the next four to six weeks is looking increasingly likely.

The companies maintain that their proposals are fair and address the concerns of performers. In a statement, the committee claims their proposals, “would have significantly increased compensation for video game performers.” They also claim to have offered, “comprehensive transparency provisions,” meant to address concerns about the use of AI.

Potential Impact of a Strike

A strike by video game performers would have a significant impact on the industry. With many games relying heavily on voice acting and motion capture performances, development could be significantly delayed or even halted. This could lead to postponed releases and ripple effects throughout the industry. Fans of popular game franchises could see their favorite titles impacted.

History Repeating?

This situation echoes the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike that significantly disrupted the film and television industries. It’s currently unclear whether video game companies will reach a compromise with the union or face a similar disruption.

A Precarious Future for Video Game Development

The potential strike by SAG-AFTRA casts a shadow over the future of video game development. The outcome of these negotiations will have far-reaching consequences for both performers and the gaming industry. Whether the two sides can find common ground or face a protracted strike remains to be seen. This situation will likely continue to evolve rapidly, and only time will tell how it will be ultimately resolved.

About the author

Allen Parker

Allen Parker

Allen is a qualified writer and a blogger, who loves to dabble with and write about technology. While focusing on and writing on tech topics, his varied skills and experience enables him to write on any topic related to tech which may interest him. You can contact him at