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Videogame Voice Acting: Battle for Residuals

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

August 22, 2006

Comments (2)

In 2005, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) signed the Interactive Media Agreement, an agreement that raised the fee of videogame voice-over recording sessions. Will there be more on the table in 2008?

girls-red-videogame.jpgMichael Bell of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), chair of the interactive committee for SAG, is lobbying to raise the session fees in 2008, battling it out for the residuals.

Why in 2008? SAG and AFTRA will go back the bargaining tables at that time and reevaluate the outcome of the 2005 agreement with the videogame publishers.

Back in 2005, it was understood that if SAG and AFTRA wanted to have the recording session fees raised, they had to remove their request to receive residuals. Residuals are ongoing payments made to the voice actors, connected to the popularity or syndication of their voice acting work.

In effect, the unions' negotiating residuals would inspire the publishers to hire only non-union talent to provide voice acting services for their videogames as an alternative to paying union fees and subsequent residual payments.

To that, veteran videogame voice actor, Bell said, "No union actor, stars included, may work for a non signatory producer without facing disciplinary action from their union. They obviously want celebrities, so that threat holds no teeth."

With 2 years to wait, only time will tell. Until then, read the full editorial here on GameDaily Biz.

Are any of you in this boat?

Cheers,

Stephanie

Related Topics: AFTRA, Celebrities, industry, Non-Union, radio, videogames


Comments


    Trying to grasp the point here. They're going to try to get residual payments back for the actors or for the unions? What affect will raising session fees have exactly on an actor's chances of landing a role if he/she isn't, say, a "celebrity?"

    Posted by:

      I would MUCH rather have residuals in my contract than a higher session fee. There is no comparison. I had 1 major part and 3 incidental roles in Mass Effect 2 and got paid an AFTRA session fee of $800, but no residuals at all.

      That game has made over $1 Billion dollars in less than 2 years and, every time people play it is my voice is used in several places. Now if that's not a bad deal for a high profile job, I don't know what is. And my was perfectly in accordance with the union.

      -NMercer

      Posted by:

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