SAG-AFTRA Strike Targets Video Game Industry, Causing Full Entertainment Shutdown

in Entertainment, Video Games

marvels-spider-man-2-video-game-venom SAG

Credit: Insomniac Games/Marvel

The WGA (Writers Guild of America) and SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) have been ongoing for months, with presumably no end in sight. The writer’s strike began on May 2, with the actors joining the fray on July 14. SAG has now sent out a strike vote to the video game industry, which would cause an entire entertainment shutdown.

Writers picketing in front of the entrance of Walt Disney Company Writers Strike, WGA Strike
Credit: ufcw770 via Wikimedia Commons

Related: Marvel Has Officially Delayed ‘Echo,’ ‘Agatha,’ and ‘X-Men ’97’

Many studios have already been severely impacted by the industry strikes, with many having to halt their productions completely. Marvel is one of the biggest companies to be hit, as they recently reworked their entire Disney+ schedule. All around the country, writers and actors are joining the picket lines to strike for fair deals, especially regarding residuals from streaming services.

Many actors and writers feel the presence of AI has threatened their livelihood, along with streaming companies now paying out proper residuals. Many companies have kept their streaming numbers a secret, and though many properties have been viewed millions of times, it does not equate to adequate pay for those artists who have worked on the shows and movies that have reached that level of popularity.

Take Squid Game, for instance. It was reported that the show’s creator, Hwang Dong-hyuk, was not paid royalties for the show, which was streamed for a record 1.65 billion hours. The show alone raised the value of Netflix by $900 million, though its creator was not given the proper pay that should have equated to his show being the #1 most streamed in Netflix history.

These issues, along with many others, have been at the core of the strikes. Now, SAG is sending out strike authorizations to members of popular video game studios.

SAG-AFTRA Votes to Send Strike Authorization to Video Game Companies

Per @ethangach

SAG-AFTRA votes to send strike authorization to members ahead of negotiations with video game companies (Activision, EA, Warner Bros., and more) sagaftra.org/sag-aftra-nati

SAG-AFTRA is full of actors participating in both films and shows, but the video game industry has yet to join in the strikes. Thousands of voice actors also lend their talent to video game companies, so it makes perfect sense for them to strike for a fair deal to compensate them adequately. SAG has now sent out strike authorizations to those voice actors.

Many video game studios that would be directly affected by the strikes would be Insomniac Games, Warner Bros., Disney, Activision, EA, Epic Games, and Take-Two Interactive (Rockstar’s parent company).

Should the SAG actors from the video game industry join the striking actors in show business, it would cause a complete entertainment shutdown. There have been reports recently that the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) has met with WGA and SAG leaders, but nothing has moved in a positive direction.

The hope would be that the strikes would conclude by the end of the year, but that does not seem like the case currently. The writers and actors in show business, and now the video game industry, appear to be in this for the long run. Studios will have to find some common ground eventually, or it will halt everything for the foreseeable future.

sag-strike
Credit: Variety

Related: ‘Walking Dead’ Series To Continue Production Despite Strikes

The last industry strike was in 2007-2008 and lasted 100 days. The WGA strike has been ongoing since May 2, 123 days since the organization went on strike. There is no end in sight, and it appears the video game industry will also join. This could get even uglier if the actors from the video game industry join.

What do you think of SAG video game actors joining the strike? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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