Actors Guild Votes in Favor of Video Game Strike

SAG-AFTRA members have voted to authorize a strike against the video game industry. The authorization passed with 98.32% voting in favor, with 27.47% percent of eligible voters participating. The vote does not guarantee that a strike of the video game industry will take place, and it remains to be seen whether one will actually take place. However, union negotiators will now be authorized to call a strike if they choose to do so. News of a potential strike broke earlier this month, and companies impacted could include Disney, Activision, Insomniac Games, Electronic Arts, Warner Bros., Epic Games, Take-Two Interactive, and others. In a statement, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher addressed the results of the vote.

“It’s time for the video game companies to stop playing games and get serious about reaching an agreement on this contract,” said Drescher. “The result of this vote shows our membership understands the existential nature of these negotiations, and that the time is now for these companies — which are making billions of dollars and paying their CEOs lavishly — to give our performers an agreement that keeps performing in video games as a viable career.”

SAG-AFTRA Video Game Strike: Impact on TV and Film

As noted on SAG-AFTRA’s website, any potential strike of the video game industry will not “affect the timing or expected progress of negotiations or our strike on the TV/Theatrical contract. A strike authorization vote on this Agreement will not impact the TV/Theatrical strike.” What this means is that, even if the SAG-AFTRA TV/Theatrical contract is settled over the coming weeks, it will have no impact on what happens with the video game industry. A strike of the video game industry could still take place, or it could be settled before things get to that point. While it’s easy for these things to be lumped together given SAG-AFTRA’s involvement, they are different cases entirely. However, SAG-AFTRA notes that “the issues affecting performers who work in video games mirror those issues affecting TV/Theatrical performers.”

SAG-AFTRA Video Game Strike: What Games Will be Impacted

(Photo: WB Games)

Readers should note that any potential strike would not have any impact on games that are already completed, or set to be released in the near future. This means that, while a strike could have an impact on Insomniac Games, recording on Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 would be long complete before that point. However, games like Marvel’s Wolverine could be impacted. The most immediate impact would be on games set to release in 2024. That might include games like Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. When a voice actor strike of the video game industry took place in 2016, it resulted in multiple video games having their voice actors change. One example was LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, which featured a completely different cast from the previous game.

Are you surprised by the results of this vote? Share your thoughts with me directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp or on Instagram at @Dachampgaming!