Buzz has been building about the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) forming a strike for professional voice actors. Many big names in the industry, including Steve Blum and Jennifer Hale have spoken out about changes that need to go into affect for this new breed of performance.
The group is claiming needs of liability and injury protection from accidents that may occur during motion capture, as well as injuries to the vocal chords and throat from strenuous voice over performances. The proposed new package would also limit harmful voice sessions to 2 hours at a time so as not to cause permanent damage. This doesn't seem unreasonable, as their voice is how they make a living and without it they'd be out of a job.
The main focus of the strike however, as is the case with pretty much any strike since the beginning of civilization, is to get a fair amount of money earned. The current deal in place with a lot of the major studios like EA Games and Disney are left-over from the mid-'90's. The field of voice acting has changed exponentially since then and the value of great acting in games has exploded. The new deal simply asks for a higher percentage of royalties afforded to the actor or actress for every 2-million copies sold. Once again, not asking for the moon, just a fair slice of a multi-billion dollar industry. While I'm not speaking for GeekTyrant as a whole, this one writer is on the side of SAG-AFTRA on this one. These men and women make our games more enjoyable, memorable, and impactful. Emphasis on great acting is helping my favorite medium evolve, and I think it's time these artists are protect and compensated properly.
The strike needed a 75% yes vote to go into action and they landed a whopping 96%. Time to see what this means for the future of gaming.