A voice acting strike just became more likely

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Union strike

Here in South Africa, strikes are nothing new. In fact, I’m sure we’re heading into striking season again. As a result, many of us locally get irritated when we hear about unions going on strike – what could you possibly want that can’t be negotiated calmly and without strike action? Well, apparently the voice actors guild has some pretty valid issues, and they might be going on a full work stoppage.

A couple of weeks ago, I told you that the voice actors were considering going on strike for back-end bonuses, stress pay for stunts and more information prior to auditions. Now they voted on the matter and 96.52% of its members voted in favour of the strike. That’s way over the 75% needed to authorize the move. While things are looking dire, that doesn’t mean that all is lost just yet. Union members won’t strike immediately, but now the union’s national board can decide to call the strike when they see fit. This gives them quite a bit of extra ammo as they return to negotiations with the likes of EA, Activision, Disney and Warner Bros.

This could lead to some delays on games and possible repercussions for those who choose not to obey the strike.

If a strike were to go through, publishers would be forced to look outside of the 150,000-member union for any voice acting work on projects going forward. That might be tough, as any actor crossing the picket line would likely have trouble finding future work in the many SAG-AFTRA affiliated productions across film, TV, radio, or games.

I’m glad that the voice actors are standing up for themselves and I hope the publishers come to the table. Voice actors are increasingly integral to the success of a game or franchise, and it’s about time that they were recognized for their contributions. Plus, voice acting is including a whole lot more motion capture and other elements now, and if that includes stunts and bizarre conditions for performances, the performers need to be assured that they will be looked after.

Of course, any video game voice actor strike is very nearly just both Nolan North and Troy Baker taking a vacation at the same time.

Last Updated: October 8, 2015

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let’s get on with it!

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    I’m imagining W3’s brilliant voice actors being replaced by people who do eng dubs for anime. It’s not pretty.

    • English dubbed anime. I literally just crapped my pants from fear.

    • Here is a Better Option For Everyone. I have made $ 15000 This Month By Just Workiing On My Laptop. I am very Glad That Finally I have Found This Legit Company Who Give Me Work For Free. You also can make like me…ytiu..

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  • Brady miaau

    Good for them? Always tricky to see the truth in these strikes, but if such a high percentage votes, they mean business and that could be an indication of something. What? Hmm.

  • Sandelk

    I feel conflicted by this. While I definitely think voice actors can get a lot more credit for what they do in video games, the truth is the most talented part of any game are the programmers and engineers putting it together and I don’t feel that voice actors should get paid more than them. What’s a voice with no game behind it?

  • Grand Admiral Chief

    Hmmmmm, so there will be openings for voice actors?

    HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

    *updates CV*

    • Not many games require someone to voice 8 year old girls. 😛

      • Grand Admiral Chief

        My daughter is almost 7, so that is quite close

        • Brady miaau

          I think, and I hate to actually point this out, he meant you sound like an 8 year old girl.

          You are welcome.

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            Oh I know what he tried to imply, and I just brushed off the silly insult

          • Brady miaau

            Ah, but I know you that know that I know that you knew what he meant, cause he knows how to insult like an 8 year old. or something. Brain tired,

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            You have to tailor your message to your audience. 😉

          • Brady miaau

            the trick to good humour and comedy. Honestly, I seem to not have the knack!

          • Hammersteyn

            I think he thinks you think he does, but we both know you don’t

          • Brady miaau

            Yes

          • Brady miaau

            nice to see the voting HammerSteyn back in action!

            Hope whatever held you back is not coming back again!

          • Hammersteyn

            XD

          • Brady miaau

            AND what does XD mean? I am old and not down with the kids. or something

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            Are you seriaaas?

          • Brady miaau

            yes. I am. I had to look up tl:dr the other day, when I posted song lyrics.

          • Hammersteyn

            It’s like a smiley face

          • Brady miaau

            So, then, 🙂

            🙂 surely?

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            🙂 = medium smile
            😀 = BIG smile
            xD = dies laughing smile

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            I had to reboot HammerSteyn, implemented a patch. HammerSteyn Upvoter v1.02 is now fully active again

          • Hammersteyn
          • Grand Admiral Chief

            I love it when hard work pays off

          • Brady miaau

            Took a runup with your steelcapped boot there, did you?

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            I had to, have you seen the size of HammerSteyn v1.02? You need industrial grade equipment to reboot it

          • Hammersteyn

            *Falls on @Admiral_Chief:disqus

          • Brady miaau

            XD

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            *dodges slow moving behemoth attack*

        • Well played.

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            xD

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Have you seen all the eng dubbed visual novels on Steam?

    • Commander JJ of the Normandy

      *adds can speak*

      • Grand Admiral Chief

        Good point
        *makes addendum*

        • VampyreSquirrel

          “Can speaks English very delicious, will werk for braai and beer”

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            They just emailed me an offer, apparently the other candidates cannot braai. I start Monday

  • The Sten

    K, so the development costs of games will now rise.

    Brace yourselves……more DLC, Season Passes, microtransactions, Remastered Editions and GOTY’s are coming.

    • Brady miaau

      Or, some of the insance profits the publishers take will go to the voice actors? Also possible. Pricing products is complex and increases may hurt sales more than absorbing the costs

  • Commander JJ of the Normandy

    I think saying that they want themselves heard won’t quite have the impact they’re looking for.

  • DragonSpirit009

    I wouldn’t mind being a voice actor… I always dreamed of either being an animator or a voice actress XD

    • Commander JJ of the Normandy

      I also think it should be a pretty cool job.
      Not as flashy as being a live-action actor, but you still get to express your creativity. Sounds like a win-win for me.

      • DragonSpirit009

        Yeah just imagine… being the villain in a game and doing that iconic evil laugh!

        • Commander JJ of the Normandy

          Excellent stuff

  • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

    So Peter Dinklage voted no?

  • Jamon Walker

    This strike has been building for a while now. I am not surprised by the vote’s results at all. Here is video we made that goes into a bit of detail about it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7dBtTf62aM&ab_channel=NocturnalCoil

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