It’s probably something that you haven’t given much thought to, but voice acting in video games is becoming a harder and harder job. The scripts are often huge (bigger than most movies) and many performers will voice more than one character. In fact, most voice actors have multiple gigs.
You may be surprised to learn that they actually belong to a union, SAG-AFTRA, and they are thinking about striking in order to obtain better working conditions.
We know what you’re thinking? How hard can it be to sit in a studio and talk into a microphone for a few hours? But that’s not really the issue. More and more, voice actors are being asked to do motion capture for their characters too. Sometimes without even expecting it. That’s a whole different task. Others are asking for more breaks between particularly stressful voice recordings, like screaming, growling, or yelling.
According to voice actor Wil Wheaton, the video game publishers have been unwilling to negotiate on any single one of these issues, which is prompting the strike talk. The union will vote early next month, and if 75% vote in favor the strike will start.
The union is also seeking to include performance bonuses when games do exceptionally well, like selling over 2 million units.
Steven Ogg, who played main character Trevor Phillips in Grand Theft Auto V, has thrown his support for better working condition.
— Steven Ogg (@StevenOgg) September 22, 2015