Video Game Law Blog

April 14, 2005

As if labour problems in the hockey world weren't enough!  US video game voice actors, who are represented by two different unions (the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), may be ready to strike. The current contract between the two unions and the major video game publishers expires on Friday, and if negotiators can't get a new agreement in place a strike could be imminent.

Apparently a key issue is that of residuals "? the current contract does not allow voice actors to share in the profits of a successful game, but instead sets out a fixed payment scale. Given the blockbuster potential of video games (Halo2, anyone?), the unions are obviously interested in tying some remuneration to game profits. This contract negotiation could mark a new industry mindset, where more parties start to jostle for pieces of the newly-lucrative video game pie.

More and more well-known actors are contributing their voices to video games "? GTA San Andreas includes the voices of Samuel L. Jackson, James Woods and Peter Fonda; EA's Godfather game includes the voices of original cast members Marlon Brando, James Caan and Robert Duvall. And, as mentioned in a recent post , Sean Connery is lending his Scottish brogue to an upcoming James Bond game.

Coverage at http://shorl.com/bobyjahedohe