As things currently stand, unionized video game voice actors might go on strike. The Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), which is also the union of voice actors, has been negotiating for better working conditions for their members since February of this year. To put pressure onto the negotiations, voice actors can now vote whether they want to go on strike or not. The vote closes on October 5 and will determine if the strike will ensue.
The demands of the voice actors can be summarized in four main points. Firstly, they want a “Performance Bonus” if the game they’ve worked on sells more than 2 million copies. They would get this performance bonus over every 2 million copies sold, with the maximum being 8 million copies. So essentially they’re asking for royalties if a game sells well. The second demand on their list is getting stunt pay when a job requires the actor to put on a performance that might be strenuous and harmful to their voice. In addition to this, the actors want stunt coordinators on sets when they have to do things that involve physical exertion. Finally, they want more transparency when it comes to jobs. They want more information on the projects they’re going to work on, like how many sessions the employer plans to book and if there is offensive content in said project.
Some well-known voice actors, like
Xander Mobus, who is the announcer in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, and Steven Blum, who has been voice acting for video games since 1995, have expressed their support for the strike using the hashtags #performancematters and #IAmOnBoard2015.