Today’s deadline to make a deal to end the six-week-old actors strike against the video game industry has come and gone, with no end in sight for the walkout.
The companies had offered a 9% immediate pay hike and additional compensation – up to $950, based on the number of sessions a performer works on each game – if their last, best and final offer for a new contract was ratified by December 1. SAG-AFTRA, however, never put the offer to a vote of its members, so the incentives technically no longer are part of the companies’ proposals. If the two sides ever do make a deal, however, it’s likely that those incentives would be part of the package.
Residuals remain the key issue in the strike, which began October 21. The guild wants to give the game companies the option of paying an upfront bonus to performers or paying backend residuals on successful games. The companies, however, steadfastly have refused to include any residuals formula in the collective bargaining agreement.
The strike is the first ever against the gaming industry; the first actors strike since 2000, when SAG and AFTRA struck the commercials industry for six months; and the first strike by SAG-AFTRA since the unions merged in 2012.