Ready player two. SAG-AFTRA, which picketed the L.A.-area offices of Electronic Arts last week, said today it will set up a picket line at 10:30 AM Thursday outside the Burbank headquarters of WB Games. The action is part of the actors union’s ongoing strike against the video game industry over residuals, or a buyout of residuals, for performers whose work is featured in the most successful games.
Contract talks between SAG-AFTRA and the vidgame industry, which broke off October 19, had been an on-again, off-again affair for 19 months. “This was one of the longest negotiations for a SAG-AFTRA contract ever,” voice-over actor and negotiating committee member Crispin Freeman told Deadline recently. “There was a point where we didn’t know what else to do.”
The union said Monday that it’s the gaming biz’s “turn to be reasonable and compromise.” “Secondary payments are a core issue for professional performers across all the contracts we negotiate because they enable a freelance workforce to survive between jobs,” SAG-AFTRA said. “They also reflect the respect our members deserve for contributing their creativity, voices and likenesses to the games they bring to life.”
Rolling picket lines are expected in the coming days and weeks at the other companies targeted in the strike including Disney Character Voices, Activision Publishing, Blindlight, Corps of Discovery Films, Formosa Interactive, Insomniac Games, Interactive Associates, Take 2 Interactive Software and VoiceWorks Productions.