SAG-AFTRA Inches Closer To Gaming Strike After Failing To Reach Deal With Publishers

SAG-AFTRA's negotiations with gaming companies haven't resulted in a new deal, so a strike is looking more and more likely.

Published: September 29, 2023 9:20 AM /


A shot from the game Detroit: Become Human which features an android in a sea of identical clones, intended (in a roundabout way) to represent SAG-AFTRA's concerns around AI in a potential gaming strike

SAG-AFTRA has announced that it has failed to reach a deal with the gaming companies with which it has been in negotiations, potentially making a gaming strike more likely.

In a rather short and to-the-point statement released on the SAG-AFTRA website, the union says it has "concluded scheduled negotiations" for a potential "Interactive Media Agreement".

The agreement concerns protections for those members of SAG-AFTRA who wish to work in video games, including basic pay rights, protections for AI-related work, and safety protocols.

SAG-AFTRA says that "no deal was reached" between it and the companies with which it has been talking, which means the current agreement will remain in effect for now.

Both parties will "make final efforts" to reach some kind of deal, but if no deal is reached, then it's likely SAG-AFTRA will launch a gaming strike on behalf of its members.

Kassandra talking to Markos in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, meant to represent conversations around the SAG-AFTRA gaming strike
Ubisoft is just one of the companies looking into using AI during development, and SAG-AFTRA workers want some protections around this new technology.

Earlier this week, SAG-AFTRA voted overwhelmingly in favor of implementing a potential gaming strike should a deal not be reached.

The announcement that the parties in question have failed to reach a deal suggests that we could be inching closer to that strike, which could impact games currently in development.

Much like Hollywood writers and actors, SAG-AFTRA members who work in gaming are seeking reassurance around basic workers' rights and the ways in which their jobs could be impacted by the advent of AI.

It's worth noting that today's announcement doesn't constitute the commencement of a strike.

There's still time for SAG-AFTRA and the companies with which it's negotiating - which include EA, Activision, and Disney - to reach a deal.

However, the fact that negotiations appear to have fallen through with no new deal forthcoming would suggest that a compromise, at least in these initial stages, has been impossible.

Watch this space for more info regarding a potential SAG-AFTRA gaming strike.

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Joe has been writing for TechRaptor for five years, and in those five years has learned a lot about the gaming industry and its foibles. He’s originally an… More about Joseph