June 22, 2005

Spoke Too Soon [8:29 am]

SAG Game Contract Scuttled [pdf]

In a potentially divisive move, the Screen Actors Guild’s national executive committee on Tuesday rejected a proposed contract covering performers who provide the voices of video game characters.

The unexpected move scuttled a deal — reached earlier this month by union negotiators — that would have given actors a 36% raise over three years but failed to gain residual payments for actors in top-selling games.

It also throws into question what future role SAG will have in dealing with the $25-billion game industry because representatives of its sister union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, approved the terms. AFTRA’s deal takes effect July 1.

[...] SAG members said that the negotiators had recommended the agreement unanimously, albeit reluctantly, and that the 1,900 voice actors who were affected largely favored it.

But other SAG members argued that the union should hold out until makers of video games agreed to share some of their soaring profits and also acknowledged the contribution of stars, who are increasingly tapped for games.

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