Writers’ strike also covers the video game industry, should we expect delays?

Hollywood has been on strike since May 2. It all started with the Writers Guild of America, the union representing American screenwriters protesting working conditions and low wages in the industry. Then on July 14, SAG-AFTRA, an association of film and television actors concerned about their own role in the rise of artificial intelligence in the industry, joined them.

It’s very likely that you’ve heard of this historic strike, albeit only in terms of its impact, which can already be seen in many TV shows, especially season 2 of The Last of Us and even Season 5 of Stranger Things. Since then, the noise has still not subsided, on the contrary. On Friday, September 1, SAG-AFTRA announced that video game workers will join the fray in the coming weeks.

The turn to strike after cinema and TV is in video games

The union, which has more than 160,000 members to date, has unanimously accepted that its members working in the video game industry should also join the strike effort. ” Here we go again ! “, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher was amazed. “Once again, we are faced with employers’ greed and disrespect. Once again, artificial intelligence is putting our members at risk by reducing their ability to work. SAG-AFTRA, on behalf of its members, once again opposes persecution.”

Like their film and television counterparts, actors and actresses working in video games fear that AI will eventually replace them. In this industry, as with Ubisoft, the fear is all the more understandable as artificial intelligence is already firmly entrenched in the making of cutscenes, creating the scenes, or writing the dialogue.

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“Voice and performance actors who bring video game characters to life deserve contracts that reflect the value they bring to the multi-billion dollar gaming industry”said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the union’s chief negotiator. “It’s already among the most advanced uses of AI: The threat is there and it’s real.”

Will the strike possibly cause matches to be postponed?

List of development studios and publishers that employ SAG-AFTRA members:

  • Activation
  • blind light
  • Disney Character Voices
  • electronic arts
  • Epic Games
  • Formosa Interactive
  • Insomnia Games
  • Get Two Productions
  • VoiceWorks Productions
  • World Bank Games

Let’s just say that at this stage, many matches are in danger of being postponed. Many referred to the case of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, which will be out in October and is in development by Insomniac. However, this seems unlikely at this stage. The strike with the actors, the latter in theory already finished work on the next Sony production.

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However, we can also talk about GTA 6 published by Take-Two Interactive or Blizzard’s next survival game that has not been talked about yet. It should be noted, however, that none of the aforementioned studios stated that a strike was involved. SAG-AFTRA’s vote empowers and supports its members working in these companies to join the struggle, but nothing compels them. So even if this scenario is illogical, nothing can happen.

Source : SAG AFTRA

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