Possible Strike Within the Game Industry?

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While we all know there is no union for the gaming industry, developers and publishers do often hire talent that are members of the SAG or AFTRA unions, which protect artists in the film, television, an radio businesses. For a while now, SAG has met with top videogame publishers and worked out bare-bones deals to protect their members, but the current contract is set to expire Friday with no new deal in place. Variety.com suggests we could be just a day away from a videogame-related strike.

A strike would most affect the industry with regard to the use of big names. From Clint Eastwood to Vin Diesel to Heather Graham and even Marlon Brando in EA's "Godfather" adaptation, A-list talent is turning from a rarity to a must-have in the vidgame world. SAG is increasingly hungry for residuals to be part of a mix, because when a game hits, it can hit big -- bigger than the heftiest studio blockbuster, in some cases.
This has been a difficult process for all parties since SAG has no official authority to work with and many members of the industry don't know or don't care about the issue. Most companies are content with using non-union workers for their games. Also, when it comes to turning a franchise into a film, some companies don't use union workers until absolutely necessary. For instance, Microsoft has been working on the Halo movie without going through any film studio.

From The Chatty