SAG-AFTRA members, including voice, motion capture, and stunt actors, have voted in favor of authorizing a strike against the video game industry. The union, which has been negotiating a contract with major studios like Epic, EA, and Activision for over a year, seeks improved compensation, safety measures, and safeguards against the unregulated use of artificial intelligence (AI).
SAG-AFTRA members have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike against the video game industry in their ongoing contract negotiations. The union seeks improved compensation, safety measures, and protections against the unregulated use of AI. The members’ concerns reflect broader issues within the entertainment industry regarding fair compensation and the impact of AI technology.
Concerns about Compensation and Safety
The main issues brought forward by SAG-AFTRA involve compensation, safety measures on sets, and vocal stress protections for voice actors. The union aims for wage increases that are consistent with inflation. Additionally, members want to address concerns related to the use of AI technology, such as consent, transparency, and fair compensation.
Members express their worries that AI may be used to scan performers or train AI with their voices, potentially replacing them in future productions. This concern is shared by other Hollywood creatives. Screenwriters who previously went on strike demanded guidelines regarding AI usage in TV shows and movies. The writers’ strike also aimed to address issues with streaming residuals and adapting to the changing landscape of the industry.
AI and the Entertainment Industry
While some fear that AI tools may threaten the livelihood of working artists, industry-side entrepreneurs argue that these tools are not eliminating jobs but, in fact, enabling more work opportunities. They suggest that AI offers solutions for tasks that were previously economically unviable. However, creatives have raised concerns about data training without creators’ consent and the potential for AI-powered misinformation.
The strike will only take effect if the bargaining parties fail to reach an agreement in the upcoming bargaining session. Both sides express their willingness to negotiate and reach a resolution that acknowledges the contributions of SAG-AFTRA-represented performers in the video game industry.