The 96-day actors strike against selected video game companies is now the second-longest in the history of the Screen Actors Guild, topping the 95-day strike of 1980 that established contract terms for pay TV and videocassettes. The ongoing walkout will have to last another three months to supplant the 183-day commercials strike of 2000 to become the longest in the guild’s history.
The strike is the first ever against the gaming industry; the first actors strike in 17 years and the first since SAG and AFTRA merged in 2012.
SAG-AFTRA has ordered its members not to work for 11 game companies – only nine of which are still in business – but there hasn’t been much strike activity lately. It’s been two months since the union put up its last picket line, though one is scheduled for February 2.
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.