Members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have voted overwhelmingly in favor of authorizing a strike on the Interactive Media Agreement (IMA) that covers their work on video games. The vote, with a turnout of 27.47%, saw 98.32% in favor of the strike measure. However, this vote does not trigger an immediate strike. The union has been negotiating with video game companies since October 2022, but issues such as compensation, the use of AI, and safety concerns have not been effectively addressed. If a strike is called, it remains uncertain how non-IMA studios will react.
SAG-AFTRA members are particularly concerned about the unregulated use of AI in video games. Performers worry that their likeness could be exploited without approval or compensation if there are no restrictions in place. Similar to ongoing strikes in the film and television industry, issues such as compensation and regulations on AI are central to the IMA negotiations. The union hopes that the strike authorization will exert pressure on the studios and lead to a fair agreement that addresses performers’ needs and ensures their dignity.
The next bargaining session between SAG-AFTRA and the studios is scheduled for September 26-28. The union sees the strike authorization as a means of strengthening their position in the negotiations. The vote reflects the shared concerns of performers in the video game industry and those in film and television, emphasizing the need for fair compensation and appropriate regulations in the digital entertainment sector.