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CIN_47

Voice actors union reaches an agreement to end videogame strike

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Hey guys! Did you hear that SAG-AFTRA ends strike after more than 11 months? 

Voice actors had been seeking royalty payments for performances in multimillion-selling games. Unlike actors for media such as film or television, voice actors did not typically receive residuals on video games.

What do you think about the idea behind the strike?

 

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Well, if you consider how the video game industry is a fairly fledgeling industry that more or less grew out of garages and basements where young coders gathered up to create software, it seems to be natural that there would be more closer rules and regulations when it is now a billion dollar industry and a mass provider of entertainment for consumers.


I think that simplifying the strike with "Voice actors were seeking royalty payments" is a very narrow selection of the numerous reasons they were striking for, some of which included transparancy into some of the voice work they would have to do if they accepted a contract, requiring stunt training when developers expected actors to do stunts, and even wanting limitations to how intense the stress on an actor's voice should be. All of which are fairly reasonable, if you ask me. After 6-8 hours of teaching and talking, I am fairly happy with having some short breaks and the fact that I can unwind. It stresses my voice on days, and I am just talking, not sitting in a studio and yelling battlecries for a few hours for any possible situation within a game.

It makes sense to me that people living through the quality of their voice should also have a certain amount of protection to not mess up their voice, and thus ruin their livelyhood. Thus I find the simplification of "They wanted royalties" to be somewhat silly, because that is just a part of the greater narrative.
Do I think the iconic voice actors should receive royalties? Yeah, I do. Kevin Conroy is the voice of Batman. I do not see why he should not be granted a bonus payment whenever an Arkham/Batman game sells extremely well. Take the character of the Joker in the Arkham series as an example. Troy Baker is a known, and skilled, voice actor. While he did a decent job portraying the Joker in Arkham Origins, he was certainly a shoddy replacement to the person behind the voice in Arkham Asylum, Arkham City and Arkham Knight: Mark Hamill. Mark Hamill is the very definition of the voice of the Joker for a lot of people due to his voice work in animated Batman series and such, and through video games. He is an iconic Joker, and going from Hamill to Baker was... well, it was not a good transition, even if Baker himself did a pretty good joke. It just was not.... good enough.
In the end... voice actors matter, because we remember the voices and performances, and while people can easily be replaced, that does not mean it is wise to replace them. Thus I think it is fair to give these iconic voices a bonus if they contribute to the game selling well. I mean, all of us notice when a game has horrible voice acting, right?

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