FIFA The Journey

The Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists made their demands known and a date set for when the voice actor strike in the realm of interactive entertainment would commence. The organization is rallying up voice artists for a showdown sooner than you think.

According to the official SAG AFTRA website, there's an October 21st date set for when the strike could take place. The reason the word "could" is used, is because SAG isn't entirely confident that they need to initiate a strike just yet.

The announcement on their website indicates that they will head back to the table with major game publishers and voice acting agencies working within the realm of interactive entertainment, and they will attempt to renegotiate deals for SAG union members between October 17th and October 19th. If the deals work out with the major publishing studios then the strike will be called off, and everybody will go back to business as usual.

However, if a deal cannot be reached during the meetings this week, SAG will commence the strike on October 21st following the vote from members to initiate a strike, which was conducted last year.

Some of the affected studios would include major publishers such as Activision (which includes Blizzard), Electronic Arts, Insomniac Games, Take 2 Interactive (which also includes their subsidiaries 2K Games and Rockstar Games), Warner Bros., Interactive Entertainment, Disney, and several other voice acting production agencies.

The strike will be for any game that went into production after February 17th, 2015. So this includes forward-looking games likely due for release in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The average development time for an AAA title is usually between two and five years.

This would actually include some highly anticipated games, such as Rocksteady's mysterious new title that they were working on following the wrap-up of Batman: Arkham Knight, as well as the new Call of Duty games in production, which work on a three year cycle now under Activision's new development paradigm. So the strike would affect voice and performance actors working on the Call of Duty titles due for release in 2018 and 2019.

Electronic Arts' sports games, due out annually, would be severely impacted especially since they've gone a more cinematic route with their titles lately. FIFA 17 introduced a new mode called "The Journey", which was a story-based mode centered around a player's rise through the ranks of a premier football league. It featured performance capture of real actors, and was likely going to be the way forward for each new annual entry. With the strike, the upcoming games for 2017 and 2018 might be impacted in a bad way if they also have story-focused career modes.

The same thing could also apply for 2K Games, who also have begun using story modes in their sports titles as well, such as NBA 2K16 and NBA 2K17. That's not to mention games currently in development like Borderlands 3, where Gearbox began staffing up for pre-production back in January of 2015. Rockstar could also be hit as well, especially for any upcoming games they began working on after 2015, which would likely not include the rumored Red Dead sequel, since production likely began before 2015.

Some of the demands from SAG include more professional stunt coordinators on set for safety purposes, more mandatory breaks to prevent strain on the actor's voice, back-end pay on games that sell over a specific amount of copies, as well as bonus pay based on a game's Metacritic scores.

So far, publishers have not agreed to or accepted these demands and appear to be okay with allowing SAG members to go on strike.

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