The ongoing SAG-AFTRA actor and writers strike, also known as the Hollywood actors strike, will be impacting movies, TV shows, and much more, leading many to wonder whether it will affect video games too. The more than 160,000 members of the SAG-AFTRA union will be prohibited from all principal camera work that includes acting, singing, and stuntwork, along with voice-acting and narration. Since many actors are used for voice-acting work in video games, both developers and fans are worried that this will delay production of their favorite games too. Here’s whether the SAG-AFTRA strike will impact video games at all.
Will the SAG-AFTRA strike impact video games?
In most cases, no. The SAG-AFTRA strike will not affect video game production.
According to the union’s official bulletin called “Notice to SAG-AFTRA Members Regarding Non-Struck Work,” the strike will not impact a long list of existing contracts. This includes the Interactive Media Agreement that is specific to work on video games. In fact, while the strike will prevent actors from working on most TV shows and films, they are still allowed to appear on soap operas, talk shows, game shows, reality shows, infomercials, audiobooks, and more.
However, actors cannot take part in promotional work like press junkets and events, including San Diego Comic-Con which occurs on July 20, 2023. As noted by the Hollywood Reporter, Marvel, DC Studios, and Warner Bros. are just a few studios that have decided not to appear in panels at Comic-Con’s Hall H this year. The Mortal Kombat 2 movie that was set to film in Australia will also be pausing production.
In October 2016, a SAG-AFTRA strike by video game voice actors was started against various developers and publishers, such as Activision, Electronic Arts, and Take-Two Interactive. It took 340 days for the companies and SAG-AFTRA to come to a deal, marking it as the longest strike in the union’s history.