SAG-AFTRA announced on Thursday that its scheduled talks with various gaming industry employers ended quickly and without an agreement being formed. The meetings--which began on Tuesday--were undertaken with the goal of renegotiating the terms of the current Interactive Media Agreement, specifically as it relates to pay, streaming rights, and use of artificial intelligence. After failing to reach an agreement, the following statement was posted to the union's website:
"SAG-AFTRA and video game employers concluded scheduled negotiations for the Interactive Media Agreement. No deal was reached and the current agreement will remain in effect while the parties make final efforts to reach a deal."
SAG-AFTRA recently voted to authorize a strike against 10 major gaming industry juggernauts, with 98.32% of the union's 160,000+ members voting in favor of the strike. If the aforementioned "final efforts to reach a deal" fail, a strike is almost certain to come next, impacting the following entertainment companies:
- Activision Productions
- Disney Character Voices
- Electronic Arts
- Epic Games
- Formosa Interactive
- Insomniac Games
- Take 2 Productions
- VoiceWorks Productions
- WB Games
The news comes on the heels of the announcement that the Writer's Guild Of America (WGA) strike has ended, with union members reaching a tentative agreement with The Alliance Of Motion Pictures And Television Producers after a 148-day strike. The WGA will soon vote to ratify the agreement.
SAG-AFTRA's previous strike against gaming companies, which took place from 2016-2017, lasted 183 days. As a result of that strike, certain games--such as Life is Strange: Before the Storm, made use of non-union actors. In that particular case, original Chloe actor Ashly Burch was only permitted to consult on the character rather than portray her in the game.