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Found 6 results

  1. After over a year of fruitless negotiations, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has declared that they will be going on strike beginning October 21. After the strike goes into effect, guild work will cease on all projects with select video game companies that went into production after February 17, 2015. In case you are wondering how and why the strike is happening, SAG-AFTRA has been pushing for the first update to standard working contracts in over 20 years to reflect the changing demands of modern game development. If you want a deeper dive, this piece from last September goes into the details. SAG-AFTRA wants the following: Royalties based on every 2 million units sold, the limiting of vocally stressful recording sessions such as when developers need death screams or shouting (some actors have reported fainting, bloodied throats, vomiting, and loss of voice during such sessions), the presence of a stunt coordinator during motion capture sessions (injuries have been reported), and transparency when it comes to the project title, role, and job requirements before having actors sign contracts (some actors have signed on to projects that have required motion captured sex scenes and were not notified in advance or asked for consent). The counter-offer SAG-AFTRA received was less than ideal, to put it generously. In SAG-AFTRA, 75% of union members must vote yes to authorize the strike. The counter-offer sent to the union was so unfavorable that 96.55% of video game voice actors voted to strike. Since then, the union has been in talks with numerous industry companies to find a new working relationship. Unfortunately, it seems that talks have not even come close to an agreement. As a result, SAG-AFTRA members and any voice actors that hope to one day become a member will be striking against the following video game companies: Activision Publishing Blindlight Corps of Discovery Films Disney Character Voices Electronic Arts Productions Formosa Interactive Insomniac Games Interactive Associates Take 2 Interactive Software VoiceWorks Productions WB Games Union members will be able to continue working with other game companies, animation, TV/film, corporate/educational projects, audiobooks, commercials, etc. A common refrain when the possibility of the SAG-AFTRA strike has been discussed in the past comes around to the topic of non-union members working across the strike lines. After all, if you can't get union actors, won't you get non-union actors? SAG-AFTRA counters this idea with the following: "Going nonunion would mean that the producer would lose access to all professional union talent for all their union games. That is a big risk that they are going to have to weigh when deciding to go non-union." While only 20% of all games are estimated to use union talent, almost 100% of all major blockbuster titles make use of SAG-AFTRA voice actors for their vocal and motion capture performances. Nothing like this selective strike has happened in the video game industry. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out and affects game development in the long-term.
  2. After over a year of fruitless negotiations, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has declared that they will be going on strike beginning October 21. After the strike goes into effect, guild work will cease on all projects with select video game companies that went into production after February 17, 2015. In case you are wondering how and why the strike is happening, SAG-AFTRA has been pushing for the first update to standard working contracts in over 20 years to reflect the changing demands of modern game development. If you want a deeper dive, this piece from last September goes into the details. SAG-AFTRA wants the following: Royalties based on every 2 million units sold, the limiting of vocally stressful recording sessions such as when developers need death screams or shouting (some actors have reported fainting, bloodied throats, vomiting, and loss of voice during such sessions), the presence of a stunt coordinator during motion capture sessions (injuries have been reported), and transparency when it comes to the project title, role, and job requirements before having actors sign contracts (some actors have signed on to projects that have required motion captured sex scenes and were not notified in advance or asked for consent). The counter-offer SAG-AFTRA received was less than ideal, to put it generously. In SAG-AFTRA, 75% of union members must vote yes to authorize the strike. The counter-offer sent to the union was so unfavorable that 96.55% of video game voice actors voted to strike. Since then, the union has been in talks with numerous industry companies to find a new working relationship. Unfortunately, it seems that talks have not even come close to an agreement. As a result, SAG-AFTRA members and any voice actors that hope to one day become a member will be striking against the following video game companies: Activision Publishing Blindlight Corps of Discovery Films Disney Character Voices Electronic Arts Productions Formosa Interactive Insomniac Games Interactive Associates Take 2 Interactive Software VoiceWorks Productions WB Games Union members will be able to continue working with other game companies, animation, TV/film, corporate/educational projects, audiobooks, commercials, etc. A common refrain when the possibility of the SAG-AFTRA strike has been discussed in the past comes around to the topic of non-union members working across the strike lines. After all, if you can't get union actors, won't you get non-union actors? SAG-AFTRA counters this idea with the following: "Going nonunion would mean that the producer would lose access to all professional union talent for all their union games. That is a big risk that they are going to have to weigh when deciding to go non-union." While only 20% of all games are estimated to use union talent, almost 100% of all major blockbuster titles make use of SAG-AFTRA voice actors for their vocal and motion capture performances. Nothing like this selective strike has happened in the video game industry. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out and affects game development in the long-term. View full article
  3. SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents actors and voice actors, is in the middle of a media blackout and considering a strike to try to come to an agreement with video game publishers. The union is looking to put forward a new agreement with publishers to modernize their contracts from the standards that were agreed to in the mid 90s as voice actors are required to do a lot more than they were twenty years ago. However, game publishers aren't super keen on the idea. The union is asking for several things as part of their negotiations. Primarily, they are looking for royalties based on the performance of the games members work on. The royalty system they propose would only go into effect after two million copies sold, protecting smaller indie devs from additional costs, with a bonus for every additional two million copies sold that caps out at eight million copies. The reasoning behind this is that royalties are a standard industry practice for every type of physical actor, but not voice actors. While union members work on only 20% of all games across all platforms, the union claims that of the top 100 best-selling games from the last two years, they've worked on almost all of them. SAG-AFTRA is also looking to limit vocally stressful recording sessions to two hours apiece to limit the possibility of long-term vocal damage. That makes sense for people who make their living off of their ability to use their voices. Additionally, with the rise of motion capture as a part of vocal work on video games, the union wants stunt coordinators to be present for any stunt work that has to be done. They cite past incidents of voice actors being injured on the job while doing motion capture as enough justification for this stipulation. Finally, the union wants to have more open dialogue between publishers and members. While this doesn't sound like a lot, it has become common practice in the game industry not to reveal the name of projects for which voice actors are applying or what role they are going to play. Members want to know the following: "How many sessions are [publishers] expecting to book? What rating [is the game expected to receive]? Why? Is there offensive content? Will the sessions be vocally stressful?" The game publishers, of which SAG-AFTRA names EA Games, Activision, Disney, Warner Bros. Studios, Blindlight, and Formosa, have also put forward their own version of the agreement which has its own goals. The publisher's offer ignores all of SAG-AFTRA's requests while including a $2,500 fine for actors who show up late or are thought of as being too inattentive, which could loosely be interpreted to mean pretty much anything. Publishers also proposed a $50,000-$100,000 fine for agents who don't sent their actors to certain auditions. On top of that fine, if an agent chooses not to submit their voice actors for those certain auditions, publishers want SAG-AFTRA to revoke that agency's union franchise, meaning they wouldn't be able to send actors to audition for union jobs in animation, TV, film, or commercials. Publishers also don't want to cover motion capture in the agreement, proposing instead to hire their own employees for motion and performance capture work with little to no oversight by stunt coordinators. This is essentially proposing to cut the union out of motion capture acting, which is not really something that they can let fly. You can read their full contract proposal here. After two meetings earlier this year that ended in a deadlock, SAG-AFTRA is now marshaling members to vote yes or no on a potential strike. 75% of its members must vote yes in order for the strike to be authorized. We will know if that happens after the ballots have been counted on October 5th. If the strike is authorized, one last round of negotiations will be held between publishers and the union before the strike goes into full effect. If that happens, the union will not send voice actors to work on game projects until a new agreement can be reached. SAG-AFTRA has also encouraged even non-members not to work during that time as it claims such an agreement will also benefit non-members. So far, many prominent voice actors have publicly declared their support of the strike with the hashtags #PerformanceMatters and #IAmOnBoard2015 including: Ashley Burch, Jennifer Hale, Wil Wheaton, Steve Blumm, Gideon Emery, David Hayter, and Tara Strong. View full article
  4. SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents actors and voice actors, is in the middle of a media blackout and considering a strike to try to come to an agreement with video game publishers. The union is looking to put forward a new agreement with publishers to modernize their contracts from the standards that were agreed to in the mid 90s as voice actors are required to do a lot more than they were twenty years ago. However, game publishers aren't super keen on the idea. The union is asking for several things as part of their negotiations. Primarily, they are looking for royalties based on the performance of the games members work on. The royalty system they propose would only go into effect after two million copies sold, protecting smaller indie devs from additional costs, with a bonus for every additional two million copies sold that caps out at eight million copies. The reasoning behind this is that royalties are a standard industry practice for every type of physical actor, but not voice actors. While union members work on only 20% of all games across all platforms, the union claims that of the top 100 best-selling games from the last two years, they've worked on almost all of them. SAG-AFTRA is also looking to limit vocally stressful recording sessions to two hours apiece to limit the possibility of long-term vocal damage. That makes sense for people who make their living off of their ability to use their voices. Additionally, with the rise of motion capture as a part of vocal work on video games, the union wants stunt coordinators to be present for any stunt work that has to be done. They cite past incidents of voice actors being injured on the job while doing motion capture as enough justification for this stipulation. Finally, the union wants to have more open dialogue between publishers and members. While this doesn't sound like a lot, it has become common practice in the game industry not to reveal the name of projects for which voice actors are applying or what role they are going to play. Members want to know the following: "How many sessions are [publishers] expecting to book? What rating [is the game expected to receive]? Why? Is there offensive content? Will the sessions be vocally stressful?" The game publishers, of which SAG-AFTRA names EA Games, Activision, Disney, Warner Bros. Studios, Blindlight, and Formosa, have also put forward their own version of the agreement which has its own goals. The publisher's offer ignores all of SAG-AFTRA's requests while including a $2,500 fine for actors who show up late or are thought of as being too inattentive, which could loosely be interpreted to mean pretty much anything. Publishers also proposed a $50,000-$100,000 fine for agents who don't sent their actors to certain auditions. On top of that fine, if an agent chooses not to submit their voice actors for those certain auditions, publishers want SAG-AFTRA to revoke that agency's union franchise, meaning they wouldn't be able to send actors to audition for union jobs in animation, TV, film, or commercials. Publishers also don't want to cover motion capture in the agreement, proposing instead to hire their own employees for motion and performance capture work with little to no oversight by stunt coordinators. This is essentially proposing to cut the union out of motion capture acting, which is not really something that they can let fly. You can read their full contract proposal here. After two meetings earlier this year that ended in a deadlock, SAG-AFTRA is now marshaling members to vote yes or no on a potential strike. 75% of its members must vote yes in order for the strike to be authorized. We will know if that happens after the ballots have been counted on October 5th. If the strike is authorized, one last round of negotiations will be held between publishers and the union before the strike goes into full effect. If that happens, the union will not send voice actors to work on game projects until a new agreement can be reached. SAG-AFTRA has also encouraged even non-members not to work during that time as it claims such an agreement will also benefit non-members. So far, many prominent voice actors have publicly declared their support of the strike with the hashtags #PerformanceMatters and #IAmOnBoard2015 including: Ashley Burch, Jennifer Hale, Wil Wheaton, Steve Blumm, Gideon Emery, David Hayter, and Tara Strong.
  5. Join three intrepid players as they venture into The Devils' Lair in the gameplay preview of Destiny's Strike mode. When Destiny launches this September, it will come with a variety of game modes for players to dig into and experience. Out of those numerous modes, only three have been announced: Patrol, Strike, and Competitive. Of those three, we only know a bit about Patrol and Strike. Patrol is what amounts to an exploration mode, allowing players to wander large sections of interior and exterior spaces. In those areas players will find side quests, numerous enemies, and new gear. Like the game Journey, there will also be a degree of online interactivity while making your way in Patrol. Other players will wander into and out of a game pursuing their own goals and missions. However, players also have the option to team up and tackle dynamic challenges that require teamwork. On the other end of the spectrum, we have Strike. Strike seems to be Destiny's version of a dungeon, players of certain types work together to clear a certain area with a definite beginning, middle, and end. That end often involves a tense encounter with a powerful boss with a large reward for emerging victorious. These areas are designed to be played repeatedly, making Strike ideal for players looking to reliably obtain better gear. Check out the video below to get an idea of what to expect. Additionally, Polygon reported today that a Bungie representative has stated that game saves will transfer between console generations. "We're interested in making sure that last gen character can move to next gen," said Bungie's investment lead Tyson Green. "A lot of people are going to buy Destiny on PS3 or Xbox 360 and then get a PS4 for Christmas. Don't tell me I wasted those last 100 hours there. So we're really interested in supporting that." However, while Green did say that transferring data from PS3 to Xbox One wasn't out of the question, he also clarified that it was unlikely due to Sony and Microsoft's restrictions. As for future console plans or how those console transfers would work, details were not forthcoming. As we draw closer to E3 and Destiny's September 9 release date answers should be more readily available. Destiny will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Wii U.
  6. Join three intrepid players as they venture into The Devils' Lair in the gameplay preview of Destiny's Strike mode. When Destiny launches this September, it will come with a variety of game modes for players to dig into and experience. Out of those numerous modes, only three have been announced: Patrol, Strike, and Competitive. Of those three, we only know a bit about Patrol and Strike. Patrol is what amounts to an exploration mode, allowing players to wander large sections of interior and exterior spaces. In those areas players will find side quests, numerous enemies, and new gear. Like the game Journey, there will also be a degree of online interactivity while making your way in Patrol. Other players will wander into and out of a game pursuing their own goals and missions. However, players also have the option to team up and tackle dynamic challenges that require teamwork. On the other end of the spectrum, we have Strike. Strike seems to be Destiny's version of a dungeon, players of certain types work together to clear a certain area with a definite beginning, middle, and end. That end often involves a tense encounter with a powerful boss with a large reward for emerging victorious. These areas are designed to be played repeatedly, making Strike ideal for players looking to reliably obtain better gear. Check out the video below to get an idea of what to expect. Additionally, Polygon reported today that a Bungie representative has stated that game saves will transfer between console generations. "We're interested in making sure that last gen character can move to next gen," said Bungie's investment lead Tyson Green. "A lot of people are going to buy Destiny on PS3 or Xbox 360 and then get a PS4 for Christmas. Don't tell me I wasted those last 100 hours there. So we're really interested in supporting that." However, while Green did say that transferring data from PS3 to Xbox One wasn't out of the question, he also clarified that it was unlikely due to Sony and Microsoft's restrictions. As for future console plans or how those console transfers would work, details were not forthcoming. As we draw closer to E3 and Destiny's September 9 release date answers should be more readily available. Destiny will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Wii U. View full article
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