Bringing Hollywood one step closer to a new front in labor action against major entertainment companies, scheduled talks between SAG-AFTRA and a consortium of video game companies ended Thursday night without agreement on a new contract.
However, the current contract has been extended for an indeterminate time while the two sides “make final efforts to reach a deal,” SAG-AFTRA said in a statement.
“SAG-AFTRA and video game employers concluded scheduled negotiations for the Interactive Media Agreement. No deal was reached and the current agreement will remain in effect while the parties make final efforts to reach a deal,” the guild said Thursday night.
The timetable for these last ditch efforts hasn’t been announced, but if no new deal is reached, a strike is almost certain. In a vote tallied on Monday, SAG-AFTRA members gave leadership authorization to declare a strike should talks prove unsuccessful by an overwhelming 98.32%.
Depending on timing, such a strike may end up coinciding with the ongoing strike against Hollywood studios that began with the Writers Guild of America on May 2 and was joined by SAG-AFTRA in July.
But that strike may be in its end stages. WGA finally secured a deal for a new studio contract on Sunday, and while members still must vote to ratify it, WGA leadership declared the strike to be over as of 12:00 a.m. Wednesday. SAG-AFTRA meanwhile will resume talks with studios on Monday.
The actors guild has been negotiating with companies covered by the Interactive Media Agreement — including Activision-Blizzard, Epic Games, Insomniac, WB Games, Electronic Arts, Take 2, Formosa Interactive, Blindlight, VoiceWork Productions and Disney Character Voices — for nearly a year.
At the heart of these talks is a range of issues SAG-AFTRA says are effectively identical to those that led the guild to go on strike against television and film studios in July. Among them, video game performers seek higher wages to counter the rate of inflation and consent and compensation for AI-generated replicas of performers.
For all of TheWrap’s Hollywood strike coverage, click here.