Monday, October 31, 2016

Meanwhile ... Out on the Bricks

SAG-AFTRA continues its job action against video game companies.

The 11-day-old actors’ strike against video game industry will not end until the companies compromise on their refusal to offer some type of residuals for the most successful games, SAG-AFTRA said today. Claiming that it’s already compromised enough, the union says that now “It’s their turn to be reasonable and compromise.” ...

The companies remain resistant to paying residuals to actors, the union said, because “they appear to be concerned that if they are seen to compromise with one group of employees, other groups of their employees might get ideas.”

“These companies pay bonuses – and sometimes even game royalties – to their animators and developers, and so they should,” the union said. “The game companies say that they don’t offer residual payments of any kind to programmers, artists, and other people who work on video games.” ...

The companies say that “The one economic difference between the parties is the companies’ response to the SAG-AFTRA demand for additional income for performers. But here the difference is more about semantics – not about actual money for performers. The main difference is the terminology – what that additional money is called." ...

The battle is the same as always: who's got leverage? And who's got ENOUGH leverage to get what they want? The field would be less tilted if the actors had more game companies under contract, and if the companies that do have agreement had more economic vulnerability to a strike.

But there are no "ifs" here, only the cold reality of what "is". And thus far, the video game companies appear to be immovable objects.


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