SAG-AFTRA Members Vote Yes To Authorize Video Game Strike

SAG-AFTRA Union Votes to Authorize Video Game Strike

SAG-AFTRA, the prominent actors’ union, has announced that its members have voted overwhelmingly in favor of authorizing a potential strike in the video game industry. With a vote of 98.72% in favor, this strike authorization grants the union additional leverage in its negotiations with video game companies under the Interactive Media Agreement. The union hopes that this vote will compel the companies to address key concerns and make significant progress on critical issues.

Union Seeks Fair Terms in Ongoing Negotiations

The Interactive Media Agreement negotiations have been underway between SAG-AFTRA and major video game companies since October of the previous year. However, the companies have failed to offer acceptable terms on crucial matters, including fair wages, protections against the exploitative use of artificial intelligence, and basic safety precautions. The union sees this strike authorization as a necessary step toward achieving a viable career for performers in the industry.

Bargaining Continues Amidst Strike Authorization

Despite the strike authorization, negotiations are scheduled to resume today and continue over the next two days. The union is hopeful that a fair agreement can be reached, but it is prepared to take further action if necessary. Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the national executive director and chief negotiator of SAG-AFTRA, emphasizes the union’s commitment to securing a deal that meets the needs of its members while ensuring their fair treatment.

Video Game Industry Facing Similar Issues as Film and Television

Ray Rodriguez, chief contracts officer of SAG-AFTRA, points out the shared challenges faced by those working in the video game industry, including the exploitative use of AI and inadequate wages. This strike authorization sends a strong message that the union demands fair compensation, reasonable safety measures, and dignity for its members.

“Our members’ livelihoods depend on it.”

History of Previous Strike and Contract Extension

In 2016, SAG-AFTRA previously called for a strike in the video game industry, which lasted nearly a year before a new contract was eventually signed in November 2017. The contract, set to expire in November 2020, was extended until November 2022. The extension included annual wage increases of 3% and a 0.5% increase in health and retirement contributions.

Continuing Negotiations and Impact on TV/Theatrical Strike

Bargaining for the Interactive Media Agreement has been ongoing since October 2022 and continues this week alongside the strike authorization. However, SAG-AFTRA clarifies that these negotiations do not affect the ongoing TV/Theatrical contract strike, which is separate from the video game negotiations.

Strike Authorization Following Writers Guild Agreement

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) recently reached a tentative agreement in Hollywood, potentially ending a five-month strike that began in May. While the agreement has yet to be ratified, it is expected to bring an end to the strike. SAG-AFTRA’s television and film branch has also been on strike since July.


The vote for a strike authorization by SAG-AFTRA members reflects a determination to address significant issues within the video game industry. Through this leverage, the union aims to secure a fair agreement that recognizes the value of its members’ work and ensures a sustainable and dignified career for performers in the gaming world.