Some major game publishers may soon have trouble finding top-end talent to voice their characters if a proposed strike by SAG-AFTRA goes through.
Since the sunset of a current contract at the end of 2014, SAG-AFTRA's Interactive Committee has been negotiating throughout the year for a new contract with publishers including EA Games, Activision, Disney, and Warner Bros. The union says those negotiations have come to a standstill in part over the proposed payout of a "backend bonus" for top-selling games. That bonus would pay residual royalties to voice actors on games that reach at least two million sales (or online subscribers) and scale up at every two million sale increment up to eight million sales.
"The truth is, back end bonuses are not uncommon in the video game industry," the union writes in an FAQ laying out its position on the negotiations. "Last year, Activision's COO took home a bonus of $3,970,862. EA paid their executive chairman a bonus of $1.5 million. We applaud their success, and we believe our talent and contributions are worth a bonus payment, too."