Over 350 SAG-AFTRA performers and their supporters picketed Warner Bros.’ WB Games unit Thursday in Burbank, marching under a blazing sun along a residential street in the shadow of the studio’s famed water tower and shouting chants that included "Death screams are on strike!" The union’s video game job action edged into its third week with no resolution in sight.
The picketers, who included actors responsible for voicing the death screams, creature noises and battle cries of such top games as the Batman: Arkham series, as well as those who do performance-capture work for such games, are focused on a handful of issues, notably a proposal for residual-like back-end compensation. The companies have refused that demand, and both sides are dug in. ...
A contingent of Animation Guild members joined the SAG-AFTRA picket at Warner Bros. today. There were a lot of voice actors on the line, many of whom work in video games making a fraction of what they earn on theatrical and television cartoons, or on commercials.
SAG-ATRA has been negotiating for months with large video games companies over a new pay deal that includes residuals. To date, the companies have dug in their heels and refused to consider any cash transfers labeled "residuals". As always, the outcome will depend on how much leverage the actors can bring to bear. Whatever happens, the Guild will continue to support the actors' strike.