Video Game Voice Actors Vote In Favor of Strike

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I'm a bit shocked to see such indifference from people here over how voice actors/performers are generally treated by the gaming industry, and their detemination to wanna do something about that.

'Finally, no more Troy Baker and Nolan North. Some fresh voice talent.' You think they're gonna get treated any better? You do know these people have been doing tons of work bringing our games to life, and getting pretty shitty pay for it since the 90's right? Think of all the amazing performances we've seen in games over the years, and how none of those voice actors needed to put the work in since they get paid the same amount whether they do a good job or not (including motion capture performances). This is like the first time they actively speak out against it in 20 years, and they get treated like prima donnas stealing away money from programmers.

The demands on these people are increasing year by year, with the quality of many games hinging greatly on them doing a good job (The Walking Dead anyone?), and not only do they get treated as simple window dressing by the gaming industry but by the damn fans as well. Christ.

It's sad to think people are not okay with this strike or comparing it entitlement when it's the exact opposite, because voice actors are paid garbage. Let's put this into perspective- Destiny makes several billion dollars and the programmers and voice actors get none of that. In fact, if the game makers would like to strike too they should... Sadly to my knowledge programmers are not in a union. I think.

Casual Shinji:
I'm a bit shocked to see such indifference from people here over how voice actors/performers are generally treated by the gaming industry, and their detemination to wanna do something about that.

'Finally, no more Troy Baker and Nolan North. Some fresh voice talent.' You think they're gonna get treated any better? You do know these people have been doing tons of work bringing our games to life, and getting pretty shitty pay for it since the 90's right? Think of all the amazing performances we've seen in games over the years, and how none of those voice actors needed to put the work in since they get paid the same amount whether they do a good job or not (including motion capture performances). This is like the first time they actively speak out against it in 20 years, and they get treated like prima donnas stealing away money from programmers.

The demands on these people are increasing year by year, with the quality of many games hinging greatly on them doing a good job (The Walking Dead anyone?), and not only do they get treated as simple window dressing by the gaming industry but by the damn fans as well. Christ.

Because in games unfortunately they essentially are and I wouldn't say a base pay of $1,000 a day and certain high profile VA's charging triple is poor pay.

Casual Shinji:
stuff

I'm not indifferent to the plight of voice actors. What I'm against is them getting preferential treatment over the slaves workers that lay the foundation. To use a combat-related analogy, the voice actors may be the poison-laced tip of the spear, but the programmers/QA/artists/sound engineers/etc. of the crew is the rest of the spearhead, the haft and the soldier wielding it.

Every cog in the clock is important, but we must remember cogs can be replaced.

<nevermind>

Casual Shinji:
I'm a bit shocked to see such indifference from people here over how voice actors/performers are generally treated by the gaming industry, and their detemination to wanna do something about that.

'Finally, no more Troy Baker and Nolan North. Some fresh voice talent.' You think they're gonna get treated any better? You do know these people have been doing tons of work bringing our games to life, and getting pretty shitty pay for it since the 90's right? Think of all the amazing performances we've seen in games over the years, and how none of those voice actors needed to put the work in since they get paid the same amount whether they do a good job or not (including motion capture performances). This is like the first time they actively speak out against it in 20 years, and they get treated like prima donnas stealing away money from programmers.

The demands on these people are increasing year by year, with the quality of many games hinging greatly on them doing a good job (The Walking Dead anyone?), and not only do they get treated as simple window dressing by the gaming industry but by the damn fans as well. Christ.

In principle I can agree about sympathizing with va's. I love Laura Bailey and the rest.

My major beef is with the guild, and specifically their methods. Let me ask a question: do you think the guild represents the best interests of va's? Because I would argue no. What if you're a va and you don't want to join a guild? There are legitimate reasons. Maybe you don't want to pay union dues. Maybe you want to negotiate the value of your own labor. Well, the guild will try to ruin your employment opportunities in a field that is already difficult to break into. If you want to join a union then fine, but it's not fair to strong arm others into joining you. Unfortunately that's what they're trying to do. Make it impossible to get hired unless you join them.

They also tend to interfere with art through their pointless bureaucracy. Instead of having a streamlined corporate process and creative freedom, you now have to deal with the sometimes ridiculous demands of a guild. You think corporations don't care about art? Well guilds are worse.

That's why I hope they fail.

Edit: oh, wow, didn't mean to dogpile you

Kevlar Eater:

Casual Shinji:
stuff

I'm not indifferent to the plight of voice actors. What I'm against is them getting preferential treatment over the slaves workers that lay the foundation. To use a combat-related analogy, the voice actors may be the poison-laced tip of the spear, but the programmers/QA/artists/sound engineers/etc. of the crew is the rest of the spearhead, the haft and the soldier wielding it.

Every cog in the clock is important, but we must remember cogs can be replaced.

Is that what they're claiming though, that they're more important than the programmers slaving their fingers to the bone? Their beef is with the publishers, not with the people actually working on the game.

Programmers and animators get shit on by the industry, probably worse than anyone else, but that doesn't mean voice actors that get the short end aren't then allowed to complain about their predicament.

Someone else always has it worse.

http://www.sagaftra.org/files/interactive_employers_proposals_2_3_2015.pdf <- see page 3
Had people actually read the contracts that incited the strikes, they may have been a bit more sympathetic. The VAs aren't exactly protesting about their pay, but rather heavy fines that will be levied against them for vaguely defined and rather sketchy reasons, essentially risking losing a lot of their pay if they don't stay rank and file with what the big publisher want.

This is just typically big corp attempting to strong arm those under them. I don't see why people would be supportive of this - I mean I may not like the VAs that are a part of the strike, but I'm not going to celebrate them being pressured into signing onto restrictive contracts. These sorts of contracts are just making contract work harder in the industry, and I don't think it will take long before this spreads into developer spaces (if it hasn't already been there).

Casual Shinji:

Kevlar Eater:

Casual Shinji:
stuff

I'm not indifferent to the plight of voice actors. What I'm against is them getting preferential treatment over the slaves workers that lay the foundation. To use a combat-related analogy, the voice actors may be the poison-laced tip of the spear, but the programmers/QA/artists/sound engineers/etc. of the crew is the rest of the spearhead, the haft and the soldier wielding it.

Every cog in the clock is important, but we must remember cogs can be replaced.

Is that what they're claiming though, that they're more important than the programmers slaving their fingers to the bone? Their beef is with the publishers, not with the people actually working on the game.

Programmers and animators get shit on by the industry, probably worse than anyone else, but that doesn't mean voice actors that get the short end aren't then allowed to complain about their predicament.

Someone else always has it worse.

It's coming off that way, particularly with the demand for residuals when gaming economics are massively from film or TV. Here's what a CEO of a mid sized publisher had to say:

We paid our first royalty this year, I'm proud to say. Teams only, not execs, I'm also proud to say. And exactly as your math skills would predict - If we paid anyone a % off the top, not only would there be no royalty, there'd also have to be universal pay cuts and fewer employees. People seem to think that games economics are like movie economics, and that's just sad and wrong.

Gross is different. We may gross more we may not, I honestly don't know. Gross includes our costs of actually getting stuff done and running it once its live, all those employees and their benefits and stuff. I can only speak for a mid-size dev/pub. I think there are a lot more of us than there are Activisions and EAs, which is who I imagine everyone is up in arms about, assuming their economics are universal. So if you want to say that you were talking with a friend who's a CEO at a mid-size dev/pub go for it.

Anecdotally, if economics of movies and games were the same, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been eating a 23 cent frozen burrito for lunch just FYI. Or if I did, it would have been flown in on a private jet and laced with very high quality drugs or something.

The fact that 100% of movie workers are prod houses and contractors protected by their own union may actually be I dunno a MASSIVE difference in there too. Where we kinda have employees. And servers. And service people. And support. And when a movie stops shooting it stops needing people to work on it. Yeah, I imagine there's a difference or 1000.

Fox12:
In principle I can agree about sympathizing with va's. I love Laura Bailey and the rest.

My major beef is with the guild, and specifically their methods. Let me ask a question: do you think the guild represents the best interests of va's? Because I would argue no. What if you're a va and you don't want to join a guild? There are legitimate reasons. Maybe you don't want to pay union dues. Maybe you want to negotiate the value of your own labor. Well, the guild will try to ruin your employment opportunities in a field that is already difficult to break into. If you want to join a union then fine, but it's not fair to strong arm others into joining you. Unfortunately that's what they're trying to do. Make it impossible to get hired unless you join them.

They also tend to interfere with art through their pointless bureaucracy. Instead of having a streamlined corporate process and creative freedom, you now have to deal with the sometimes ridiculous demands of a guild. You think corporations don't care about art? Well guilds are worse.

That's why I hope they fail.

Well, that's getting into the messy territory of guilds and unions, something I'm not too familiar with. The fact is that the gaming industry has been on a Hollywood high for the past decade now, showcasing its big cinematic mucsles, yet still treats the people that provide that flair like they're of little importance. And it's just a bit disheartening to see the same from fans.

Now, this is not me claiming voice acting is extremely important in all games and should be cherished by all, but in story-focused games where there is, it makes a large part of the experience for what it is. And is not something that can just be replaced by lesser talent or removed entirely without crippling the game.

altnameJag:
Why are people framing this as "those greedy VA's, wanting more than programmers/QA testers/etc, they don't deserve that" and not "VA's get treated like shit and deserve more from publishers. Also, programmers/QA testers/etc get treated like shit and deserve more from publishers"?

VA's and the dev teams aren't opposed here.

Because people are weirdly defensive of corporations and businesses. Campaign for higher minimum wage, and you therefore hate soldiers and nurses. Strike for the right to receive bonus payments based on the success of the game (because their initial demand was rejected on the basis that 'voice actors don't affect the performance of a game') and suddenly it's prissy divas trying to steal from the silent, hardworking people of the USSR.

Sorry I meant the development team. As I was typing I noticed how similar the references to the hardworking 'other' end up being to Communist and fascist propaganda over the past century. You think your work is hard? You sacrifice nothing compared to the farmers/soldiers/video game developers who keep this nation alive.

I'm certainly not the smartest guy in the room, but I'm not certain we can condemn one group who is trying to make things better for themselves just because there's another group that arguably has it worse than them to begin with.

Yeah, the programmers do get worked as slaves with little recognition and even less compensation...but the VAs beef has nothing to do with them. Just because they're getting the shaft doesn't mean that the VAs aren't also getting the shaft. The VAs are taking a stand for what they feel is right with regards to their contributions, the programmers should do the same for themselves: band together and stand up for themselves.

Condemning the VAs for this akin to condemning the Civil Rights Movement because "How dare those African-Americans want things better for themselves! JUST LOOK AT WHAT THE NATIVE AMERICANS HAVE TO GO THROUGH!"

Also, this seems relevant:

If that means that we get more games where the dialogue isn't limited by the space, time and talent limitations imposed upon it by voicing every little damn thing, as well as more people seriously working on voice synthesis, I'm all for them striking till kingdom come.

In regards to bonuses, they're for employees of the company. Voice actors are temporary workers for companies. If they feel the pay is bad they should negotiate for more at the time of the contract being signed.

That said I'm fine with a strike. There's a lot of new talent that could use the practice. Maybe a few years down the line we'll have some more diversified VO's in games.

I guess the question is what kind of bonus checks do other members of the development/game design teams get? They cited the executive board in their wording but that doesn't mean shit about how common it is on the development side just because they see money on the publisher's side. Publishing staff frequently get bonuses because they made a wise investment with their capital. But developers? They're being paid to do a job by the publisher. Some people could see this akin to a pants assembly line worker demanding to get paid a bonus if the pants sell really well.

Look, voice actors already get paid $200/hour for their time and because of the nature of games will usually have significantly more hours to work than a commercial voice actor.

So the question is, is $200/hour worth their time or no? Actual developers and people whose skills are far more technical get paid far less than that. I kinda think it's bullshit of them to demand even more than an already very lucrative paycheck. They can do it, but it's just not realistic when compared to their actual contribution. I hope this breaks the union. Maybe it will even result in actually skilled voice actors getting paid more if they don't have to pay the shitty ones so much.

RJ 17:
I'm certainly not the smartest guy in the room, but I'm not certain we can condemn one group who is trying to make things better for themselves just because there's another group that arguably has it worse than them to begin with.

Yeah, the programmers do get worked as slaves with little recognition and even less compensation...but the VAs beef has nothing to do with them. Just because they're getting the shaft doesn't mean that the VAs aren't also getting the shaft. The VAs are taking a stand for what they feel is right with regards to their contributions, the programmers should do the same for themselves: band together and stand up for themselves.

They make $200/hour as a minimum regardless of skill thanks to this union. It isn't that they're just trying to make things better for themselves, it's that they already make a very significant premium on their time compared to the technically skilled laborers in the company and yet now they're demanding more money that if acquired may actually come out of the paychecks of those same developers' salaries rather than the pockets of the greedy gusses at the top.

Your African American/Native American analogy isn't the same here because everyone can be treated with respect and equality. There is no perceived limitation on equality. But getting paid in a company? There's a limited source of revenue and the people making all the decisions will make sure everyone else gets less before they do.

Are voice actors being greedy here? Yes, they are. They're also being pompous in elevating what most of them do as though they're all Nolan Norths or Mark Hamills when the vast majority of them are decidedly not.

But hey, what does the biggest superstar in voice acting have to say about this?

http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/16/nolan-north-believes-voice-acting-royalties-unfair-to-expect-i/

"In all fairness, hundreds of people are working 12 hour days for several years to make a game, so it's unfair for me to expect residuals, given the amount of work I contribute."

Nolan North, the king of voice acting in video gaming recognizes that his "all day" is a 4-hour work day. He knows that he does contribute to games and that there is certainly a skill to the work he does. But he's a humble enough guy to look at the other people on the project and consider how much harder it is for many of them and how much less they're getting paid relative to him. Man, what a champ. If I were gay I think I'd have a poster of him on my wall.

That being said, I also think North underestimates that his name along brings in significant revenue. If there is any voice actor that should get residuals it'd be him. His work may not be that difficult comparatively, but I don't think he realizes that his name alone is a significant marketing tool. I have purchased games just because he was in them and have been generally pretty pleased with the outcome of doing so. But the vast majority of voice actors aren't in the same boat. Most people can only name North, Mark Hamill, Jennifer Hale, and David Hayter if even those. Those are names that are directly responsible for at least some revenue in the games because their names are in it.

If I learned that they, these famous ones, did not get paid more, I would be frustrated. That would not be demonstrating better income for better work.

The fact of the matter is they shot their foot off by asking for royalties at all. Had they not done that, the support for the strike would have been much greater.

ravenshrike:
The fact of the matter is they shot their foot off by asking for royalties at all. Had they not done that, the support for the strike would have been much greater.

I don't know, it's hard to feel sorry for someone that works 4 hours a day if they want to and make $200/hour and can take on multiple projects at the same time IF desired.

Lightknight:

ravenshrike:
The fact of the matter is they shot their foot off by asking for royalties at all. Had they not done that, the support for the strike would have been much greater.

I don't know, it's hard to feel sorry for someone that works 4 hours a day if they want to and make $200/hour and can take on multiple projects at the same time IF desired.

You make it sound like people are throwing job offers at every voice actor like they're candy.

You HAVE to know that's not the reality. Sure, the big listers probably could snap their fingers and their agents have 20 jobs lined up, but the random guy that voices extras? It's really not hard to imagine a scenario where he gets one job an entire month. Or worse.

Lightknight:
Your African American/Native American analogy isn't the same here because everyone can be treated with respect and equality. There is no perceived limitation on equality. But getting paid in a company? There's a limited source of revenue and the people making all the decisions will make sure everyone else gets less before they do.

Look to the context of the comparison within the context of previous post. My over-all point was that just because one group is getting the shaft doesn't mean that another group who's getting the shaft shouldn't be able to stand up for themselves.

Nolan North's comments not withstanding, however...

That being said, I also think North underestimates that his name along brings in significant revenue.

...

I have purchased games just because he was in them and have been generally pretty pleased with the outcome of doing so.

This sentiment - that big name VAs do bring in significant revenue to the game merely by having their name attached to it - is essentially one of the points that Jim brings up in his video. That's why the hashtag that they're using for their complaint is "Performance Matters".

Watch Jim's video to see examples of what we could go back to if you think we can really throw any random jackass in front of a mic and have them do a reading.

This is not going to have the results that the VA's think it will. In a best case scenario the publisher's are simply going to avoid them and go with either in house or non-unionized VA's. If the publisher's do cave, that money is not going to come out of publishing profits, it's going to come out of development budgets. Guess what those pay for? Yup, the dev and QA teams which have a laughably small portion of the budget to begin with. The VA's are simply gutting the real effort that goes into a game to collect a fatter paycheck that, oh right, THEY CAN NEGOTIATE TO BEGIN WITH!

So for all those cheering this on, hope you enjoy your underdeveloped games that are at best crappy if not downright broken but have that big name doing all the voices because they can't afford to pay anyone else.

martyrdrebel27:
hahaha, there is some kind of undefinable humor behind using that Gordon freeman picture when talking about a voice actor strike.

It's called irony.

Anyhoo, Ive mixed feelings about the strike. On the one hand, fair conditions and pay for work, in the other, I feel a lot of these guys (Wil Wheaton) are infinitely replacable, and detract from the working conditions of devs.

...I'd VA for free just to say I was doing VA for games.

So, this kinda seems like a terrible idea on their part, especially since I'm getting tired of seeing the same people getting all of the roles in titles simply due to their "star power."

Not denying that said folks are talented, but more diverse talent is always welcome. More voices. More variety.

Just wanted to point out 1 thing.

The VA's want these perks because that's what VA's get in the movie industry.

I see a lot of posts pitting VA's against the coders and developers of the game when really they aren't in competition here, they are both being wronged.

If we take another look at the movie industry and compare the employees we consider the coders and minor devs of a game to the equivalent we end up with special effects guys, stuntmen, editors, etc - all these people also work their asses off producing the movie but they don't get bonuses along with the actors, director etc.

VA's aren't explicitly wrong in making these demands, just as the coders/developers, and indeed the SFX, stuntmen, editors, also wouldn't be wrong by making the same demands; It just happens that VA's can easily point to a similar industry's practices as justification for their demands.

RJ 17:

Lightknight:
Your African American/Native American analogy isn't the same here because everyone can be treated with respect and equality. There is no perceived limitation on equality. But getting paid in a company? There's a limited source of revenue and the people making all the decisions will make sure everyone else gets less before they do.

Look to the context of the comparison within the context of previous post. My over-all point was that just because one group is getting the shaft doesn't mean that another group who's getting the shaft shouldn't be able to stand up for themselves.

If them standing up for themselves means that the first people that are getting the shaft get even more shafts. Then yes they shouldn't stand up for themselves. Otherwise they just show that they are greedy.
Because and let us be honest here. Who do you think will pay the bill for the higher VA Costs in the end?
And since I'm too lazy to write the answer I'm just gonna quote it.

LordLundar:
This is not going to have the results that the VA's think it will. In a best case scenario the publisher's are simply going to avoid them and go with either in house or non-unionized VA's. If the publisher's do cave, that money is not going to come out of publishing profits, it's going to come out of development budgets. Guess what those pay for? Yup, the dev and QA teams which have a laughably small portion of the budget to begin with. The VA's are simply gutting the real effort that goes into a game to collect a fatter paycheck that, oh right, THEY CAN NEGOTIATE TO BEGIN WITH!

So for all those cheering this on, hope you enjoy your underdeveloped games that are at best crappy if not downright broken but have that big name doing all the voices because they can't afford to pay anyone else.

I am with you on this one. The only result of this will be even more bloated development costs. And that will mean that games have to sell 3 million instead of 2 million units or the development team can look for a new job opportunity.

Ah so that's why there is no Zero Punctuation this week. Naughty Escapist, not bribing your favourite stepchild enough. ;)

Does this mean that if I want a shot at VA, I had better take it soon? A beeline to the top, baby! I'll send you guys a card upon arrival.

Honestly, most western voice actors are just plain and simply horrible. They have one voice they know and that's it. Yet they want to be paid like the Japanese VA's who also act as idols, have a shitload of promotional acts and the most popular have several different voices that are completely different from each other.
Listening to western VA, I feel like the actors feel embarrassed for doing this and don't put their soul into it. While Japanese VA's can be so over the top that it's ridiculous and awesome at the same time.
They should start demanding to be stars once they become good at their job.

I have yet to hear a western VA that's as good as Norio Wakamoto.

Well, to be honest, whoever did the ending of Amnesia did a freaking awesome job.

I don't agree with some of the issues the guild is trying to impose, but I do agree that the treatment of VA should be a lot better... a lot better.

I also think the people that take offense on this because VA are not the people treated worst, or more overworked in the development of the games, are looking at this from the wrong perspective. It is an actors guild strike, so of course they are going to fight for their own people... that is the whole reason for a guild to exist. And the solution should not be "keep them shut like 99% of the people that work on the industry", the solution should be to make things better for everyone involved.

There is no guild for game developers or artists, so there are no one that fight for their rights when crunches and layoffs loom on the horizon, but that is a fault of them, not of the people that do have some political protection.

Areloch:

Lightknight:

ravenshrike:
The fact of the matter is they shot their foot off by asking for royalties at all. Had they not done that, the support for the strike would have been much greater.

I don't know, it's hard to feel sorry for someone that works 4 hours a day if they want to and make $200/hour and can take on multiple projects at the same time IF desired.

You make it sound like people are throwing job offers at every voice actor like they're candy.

You HAVE to know that's not the reality. Sure, the big listers probably could snap their fingers and their agents have 20 jobs lined up, but the random guy that voices extras? It's really not hard to imagine a scenario where he gets one job an entire month. Or worse.

They don't have a right to be hired. This is still an acting job with a lot of people competing for the same job. The fact is that while they work they are getting paid hundreds of dollars for every hour. Well beyond what almost anyone gets paid for something they had to spend four years at university to even get started in.

The issue your pointing out is the fact that most voice actors are easily replaceable because it doesn't take as much skill as stage/show/movie acting and has a ton of competition in the business. That's not other company's responsibility. Extremely high pay for little work is what they're currently getting. What you're proposing is welfare for when they aren't working rather than compensation for when they do. That's not a company's responsibility.

RJ 17:

Lightknight:
Your African American/Native American analogy isn't the same here because everyone can be treated with respect and equality. There is no perceived limitation on equality. But getting paid in a company? There's a limited source of revenue and the people making all the decisions will make sure everyone else gets less before they do.

Look to the context of the comparison within the context of previous post. My over-all point was that just because one group is getting the shaft doesn't mean that another group who's getting the shaft shouldn't be able to stand up for themselves.

Oh, anyone can stand up for themselves at any time. It is "allowed". But the point of contention here is that this is a group who ISN"T getting the shaft trying to get more money in a way that will only end up harming the people who are getting the shaft. A more apt example would be a white man lobbying for more preferential treatment in hiring agencies as a white many because white people also have an unemployment rate. When there's give and take like this, advocating for you to get more means another group gets less. Your equality analogy only makes sense in an environment where everyone can benefit and equality isn't elastic (when you grab some of it, others shouldn't lose theirs).

So this is different than everyone just trying to be treated the same and it is different due to there being a limited resource at stake here.

Nolan North's comments not withstanding, however...

The dude acknowledges the problem. He doesn't have to work as hard as others on the project and yet gets paid far more per hour than they do. He sees that other people are getting the shaft and he basically gets his dream job with few hours and high pay.

That being said, I also think North underestimates that his name along brings in significant revenue.

...

I have purchased games just because he was in them and have been generally pretty pleased with the outcome of doing so.

This sentiment - that big name VAs do bring in significant revenue to the game merely by having their name attached to it - is essentially one of the points that Jim brings up in his video. That's why the hashtag that they're using for their complaint is "Performance Matters".

Watch Jim's video to see examples of what we could go back to if you think we can really throw any random jackass in front of a mic and have them do a reading.

I saw it when he posted. Voice acting does make a difference, that's why they get paid $200/hr. Are you forgetting that they get paid a bunch of money for every hour they work? That a 4 hour work day nets them $800? In my first office job that was the pay for a full pay period of work and that's at $12/hour for 80 hours. That's even a decent pay. So I don't think people are understanding that $200/hour is some serious cash for the work they're providing.

FYI, Jim also isn't unbiased here and he acknowledges that. He is a voice actor for smaller games.

Those poor publishers, the bully voice actors are trying to get reasonable compensation. Booo, they should be happy with the scraps tehy get now, otherwise it might impact the fuckhuge bonuses the owners of the company get. Why would anyone want to stop them from getting another solid gold hummer?

As a developer, the fact that they're demanding things like bonuses and royalties when the dev team rarely sees them really pisses me off. Don't get me wrong, they've got talent (some of them at least). But they're not like actors in movies. Their names don't sell games, they're not even really worth a footnote on the back of the box. There's no benefit to having a specific name playing a character. So no, I don't believe they deserve the same kind of bonuses that actors in movies get. And as much as I'd love to have publishers spread their wealth around, it needs to be shared with the studios and dev teams more than it does the voice actors.

Lightknight:

Areloch:

Lightknight:
I don't know, it's hard to feel sorry for someone that works 4 hours a day if they want to and make $200/hour and can take on multiple projects at the same time IF desired.

You make it sound like people are throwing job offers at every voice actor like they're candy.

You HAVE to know that's not the reality. Sure, the big listers probably could snap their fingers and their agents have 20 jobs lined up, but the random guy that voices extras? It's really not hard to imagine a scenario where he gets one job an entire month. Or worse.

They don't have a right to be hired. This is still an acting job with a lot of people competing for the same job. The fact is that while they work they are getting paid hundreds of dollars for every hour. Well beyond what almost anyone gets paid for something they had to spend four years at university to even get started in.

The issue your pointing out is the fact that most voice actors are easily replaceable because it doesn't take as much skill as stage/show/movie acting and has a ton of competition in the business. That's not other company's responsibility. Extremely high pay for little work is what they're currently getting. What you're proposing is welfare for when they aren't working rather than compensation for when they do. That's not a company's responsibility.

I'm actually not proposing welfare. Honestly, I really dislike how unions operate. However, you were using 'They get paid $200 an hour' as an excuse for why they shouldn't complain. But fact is, if they only get 2 hours of work in a month, because they're not salaried, and aren't attached to a production company and ensured a constant flow of work as part of their job, how much they make an hour is irrelevant. How much they make across a pay period is.

So if a dude doing voice work works a full day's work, 8 hours, at $200 an hour, he made pretty good bank, right? $1600 isn't a bad haul for a single day's work. Of course, most of these dev studios are at the coasts, which have ridiculous living costs, so that'd probably fetch him half his month's rent figuring he lived in the general area.

So what happens if that's all the studio needed and he doesn't get any additional work for a month or more? Then the game goes on to sell millions of copies and rakes in billions of dollars? I can pretty easily see how that doesn't strike as fair.

As said, I don't at ALL plug for unions or guilds, and you're also totally correct that that's how highly replaceable fields tend to be. But you can't handwave associated issues off simply because they have a high dollars-per-hour value. In something like voice acting, that doesn't really mean much.

I am trying to look at the positive side of this development... I hope this at least leads to more new people entering the field. I am so freaking tired of hearing the same voices over and over in different games.

Why is it people who actually want better working conditions are always looked on with scorn or indifference? It doesn't say a lot of good things about this world.

Well, I hope this works for them.

josemlopes:
They sure deserve more compensation then the people that actually made the game that work in gulag conditions and get jack shit, voice actors are more important to the game then developers and animators for sure.

They are the Screen Actors Guild, not The Screen Actors and Programming, Coding, Graphic Design, Mixing, Testing, Animating, Whatevering Guild. Asking for more cash for VOs does not prevent others from asking more cash for everyone else in the industry.

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