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SAG Rejects Game Contract

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the here-we-go-again dept.

Games 65

Reuters is reporting that the Screen Actor's Guild has rejected the contract with the Games Industry, despite earlier signs negotiations would be successful. From the article: "The Screen Actors Guild's bitter infighting claimed another victim Tuesday as members of the national executive committee voted to reject the recently negotiated video game contract against the wishes of members and the negotiating committee. It is believed to be the first time in the union's 72-year history that board members have used the routine approval process to overrule the unanimous recommendations of a negotiating committee."

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Blatant Team America quote (1, Funny)

Klowner (145731) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881847)

Alec Baldwin: "....way to go, FAG."

Re:Blatant Team America quote (1)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881910)

MATT DAMON

Re:Blatant Team America quote (1)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881980)

durka durka durka

Totally offtopic, but.... (4, Funny)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881871)

I prefer how the South Park/Team American guys call them. The Film Actors Guild, also known as FAG.

Re:Totally offtopic, but.... (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882268)

That acronym has already been taken by Fans Against Gordon, for racing fans that dislike Jeff Gordon. They have no web site per se but a Google Images search [google.com] turns up their signature design.

Great!!! (0)

RandomLetters (892800) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881919)

Now we get to listen to more half-hearted monotone voice acting in all our video games.

Re:Great!!! (1)

Torgo's Pizza (547926) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882169)

If it was monotone before, and it'll be monotone without SAG... then exactly what do they bring to the table? Oh, yes large salaries. At least that money will be better spent elsewhere. (Yeah, right.)

More Mon-ay more mon-ay (0)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881962)

And how could this be?

Because SAG is trying to get the games industry to go COMPLETELY union.

Re:More Mon-ay more mon-ay (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882529)

Really?

That must be why they consistently ignored the plaintive cries from programmers, artists, designers, and other members of the game development teams that they deserve residuals before voice actors do.

The SAG execs don't give a rat's ass about the games industry, or about their own rank-and-file members, for that matter. They saw an opportunity to land some significant cash in the form of residuals for their top members whenever popular games sign brand-name actors (think the GTA series). The earlier contract agreement already gave a significant boost in minimum wages, which any union that actually cared about the bulk of its members should be happy about.

That's my point... (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 9 years ago | (#12883059)

The union is holding out to try to get EVERY job in the game development hierarchy unionized. They're after POWER. That's where the true money lies.

Re:More Mon-ay more mon-ay (2, Interesting)

twl1973 (877541) | more than 9 years ago | (#12883295)

By RTFA you can see that there are two separate groups in SAG that are going at it therefore the deal fell through. The Restore Respect is the group that has the president of SAG (Melissa Gilbert) as its head. MembershipFirst! is the group that doesn't want the president of SAG in power. So they split over everything as MembershipFirst! wants to toss Melissa Gilbert out of power. By ruining the deal MembershipFirst! can point at Restore Respect as not getting things done for the rank and file.

I *did* RTFA... did you? (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 9 years ago | (#12884195)

"While the negotiators unanimously recommended that the contract be approved, they did so only reluctantly after failing to get member support for a strike.

Even then, with almost no other option but to accept the gaming industry's final offer, some of the more militant negotiators still demanded that the contract be rejected, sparking one of the most embarrassing rebellions in recent memory. "

They don't want this contract and only want Restore Respect out so they can bully the union into striking against the game industry.

Screw 'em (3, Interesting)

LSD-OBS (183415) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881963)

Re:Screw 'em (1)

mister_llah (891540) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881985)

I can dig that, if they want to be greedy, they can rot... while we are waiting for that fine technology (since you can't patent a voice, I'd imagine it'll work quite well) ... the industry can find plenty of other voices, I'm sure...

===

Heck I have a few in my head they could use.

Re:Screw 'em (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 9 years ago | (#12885992)

When Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was being hyped up before it was released, people were saying the same thing in reference to digital actors. Don't see too many people saying that now.

Rob

Re:Screw 'em (1)

LSD-OBS (183415) | more than 9 years ago | (#12887903)

There are more "digital actors" now than ever before. Think about any mass battle scene in any of the recent blockbusters (the Matrix sequels, Troy, the Star Wars prequels, etc), or any of the tons of CG animated movies around these days. However, they all rely on actors' voices to give them human character.

The point of the developments in voice sythensis as linked above is that if you have enough controlled samples of anybody's voice, you can reproduce how they talk almost indistinguishably. The article says that it's actually *too* real, and they have to dumb it down so that people are still aware they're talking to a can.

Being a game developer myself, I'm looking forward to being able to use technology like this. Unless you've been there, you can't understand the f*cking pain in the neck it is to have to know *exactly* everything that needs to be said throughout a big game. Anytime you want to change something you have to get your voice actors in, and pity your development budget if they're actually famous.

Think how much easier this would become! It's just a matter of a few hours of sampling to record someone's voice-print and accent, and you're back to using good old easily modifiable, maintainable and internationalisable text. This option is too attractive to be fobbed off or ignored.

On a positive note (1)

kaptron (850747) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881978)

Hopefully that means no more main characters voiced by David Duchovny (XIII, Area 51).
Though his voice does work better than counting sheep... zzzzzzzz...

Re:On a positive note (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882266)

You know what? I'm not really sure if you are including future X-Files games in that or not.

Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (3, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882019)

I would rather video game makers drag people in off the street and hand out the voice acting spots to desperate college kids who will work for pennies then get some 'high quality' voice acting at the expense of a couple of programmers. Of all the things I would like to see video games focus more on, voice acting is exactly last. I would pick a fiction writer to write a good story, another programmer to debug, another programmer to optimize performace, a dozen more beta testers, or a number of other things over voice actors. The thought of giving risiduals to voice actors makes me sick. I can't think of a bigger waste of money. If SAG can't get its shit together and offer a reasonable contract, I hope the gaming industry merrily points them to the picket lines where they can rot until hell freezes over and have no one care.

Good voice acting is nice, but it is hardly on my top 10 as a consumer of games. I can stomach half assed voice acting if the game is bug free and well written. I can't stomach a game with bugs and poor writing though, even if the voice acting kicks ass.

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (2, Insightful)

jcorno (889560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882316)

You clearly never played Final Fantasy X.

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882447)

I don't know where to file that, it's neither blatantly bad nor great.

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12882506)

Because it sucked regardless of voice acting quality.

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12882330)

I wish I had mod points to give to your post. It drives home many excellent points. Gamers don't want to pay $10 extra per game just because some overpaid actor spent two hours reading a few sheets of paper.

Maybe some of it has to do with video game makers trying to make a bigger profit, maybe it doesn't. But in the end only one thing is sure: hiring actors at their rates will cost gamers more, and we're not willing to pay for it.

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (0)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882390)


Damned good idea...I'm certain that there's college students out there who would enjoy working as voice talent for a pittance...hell, I'd do it for free, just to have my name in the credits.

How about this? Put up a script on a web page...anyone who wants can record a MP3 of themselves reading the lines and email it in. The game people pick which voice they want to use, and give the submitter credit for his work. SAG not required...thanks anyway.

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (2, Insightful)

GodHead (101109) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882464)

Bullshit. Well done voice acting adds a LOT to a game. Terrible voice acting absolutly detracts from a game. Compare the acting in RE1 "master of unlocking" with the voice acting in Chronicals of Riddick.

Fact is visuals and sound are the two senses that video games have to deal with. Ignoreing one is just silly.

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (1)

Shihar (153932) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882647)

Sure it adds something to a game. The question is, how much? For most games, the answer is not that much.

Take the game Vampires: Bloodlines. The game was solid in concept. It had three problems though. First, it was buggy beyond all comprehension. Second, it ate system for breakfast, even though the graphics were nothing to get too excited about. Third, the voice acting sucks. The game was a failure and the company went under. A few fans an ex-employees got together and patched the game up though. They optimized the game to run on decent machines and they cleared out almost all of the bugs. What was left? An awesome game with voice acting that was mediocre at best. Just a few part time programmers managed to take a game from being a piece of crap, to being something worth your money.

Now, imagine before our beloved company went under they decided that they had enough money to buy one more piece of talent. They could either grab another coder to pump another 40+ hours a week into brining the game up to spec and fixing the bugs, or they could hire a voice actor. Tough call?... no. Not really.

Is voice acting nice to have around? Sure. Is it essential in a game ripped from Hollywood like the Chronicles of Riddick? Probably. Should your average game company piss away their budget on a SAG member to deliver a few hours worth of dialog instead of hiring another programmer to pump his extra 40+ man hours a week into the game? Hell - fucking - no.

Voice acting is a luxury. If you have the money to splurge, knock yourself out. If you are struggling to meet deadlines and have a publisher on yours ass to get your game out NOW, do the gamers a favor, hire some pore theater kids who have not yet been able get into the union yet to do the voice acting, and hire another programmer or writer. Mediocre voice acting is a slight annoyance. Poor writing or a buggy game is unforgivable.

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (1)

DaveJay (133437) | more than 9 years ago | (#12883000)

>Sure it adds something to a game. The question is, how much?
>For most games, the answer is not that much.

I would like to respectfully point out that good voice acting is one of several elements that a well-produced game has to have in order to succeed. You're correct in pointing out that a game with bugs and bad voice acting will benefit more from bug fixes than voice acting; however, a truly stellar game will have neither serious bugs or distracting voices.

I make my case with a short list of games, featuring solid technical implementation and high-quality voice acting -- and all were successes:

- Interstate '76

This game's gameplay was mediocre, but it looked beautiful (for the time), had amazing voiceovers in the cutscenes, great music and was technically stable. It was also a huge success.

- Myth: The Fallen Lords

This game's gameplay was terrific, and it looked beautiful. It was also technically stable. However, the tutorial was brilliant, almost entirely due to the voiceover that guided you through it (the subtle sarcasm on "Well done!" was priceless), and the dwarf character's voices were legendary -- anyone who played the game remembers him saying "What now?" and "Oh, all right" when you made him do something. Also a huge success.

- Myst

I don't even need to explain for those who have played it, but for those who didn't, this game succeeded almost entirely through the subtle method it immersed you into the environment. Animations, sounds and voiceovers were all a part of this, and a bad voiceover would have destroyed the mood. Of course, you could also see the actor's faces (to an extent) in this one, so the actors had to look the part as well. Also a success.

- The 7th Guest

If you played it, you still want to kill the man behind the voice. Taunting and creepy, great for the time.

- The Simpsons: Road Rage

I think it was Road Rage that was based on the Grand Theft engine; if I have the wrong title, sorry about that. The gist, though, is that using the actual Simpsons voiceover talent delivering new story-specific dialog (instead of rehashing existing show dialogue) helped to make this an incredibly engaging and successful title.

Anyway, that's just a few -- so don't be too quick to discount voiceover talent.

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (1)

AltaMannen (568693) | more than 9 years ago | (#12883149)

Don't forget that there are professional voice actors who are not SAG.

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 9 years ago | (#12884431)

Most of the actors in the first 2 Mysts were staff(programmers/designers) or family.

And the acting was a lot better than the later "professional" ones.

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (1)

barc0001 (173002) | more than 9 years ago | (#12885341)

Think you have Interstate 76's stuff backwards there. I loved that game, and to be honest I barely remember how the voiceovers even sound. It was ALL about the gameplay. Which was great.

Good voice acting CANNOT save a bad game. Just like incredible visuals can't save a crappy movie.

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12882695)

This only applies to certain games. I know in some cases I've played games that had good voice acting and after about 20 minutes I turned it off anyway because I'd rather read the text on the screen and listen to some decent music instead. The thing that pisses me off more than anything is when a game uses a celbrity to voice over a game when there is no good reason to and that celebrity is not a voice actor. I don't need to recognize a game character as some a list actor, it takes away from the story in some cases and it sounds like ass in others. What's worse than that is when you can't advance past cut scenes until the audio is completed even if you have it off and were done reading the subtitiles 10 minutes ago.

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (1)

ruineraz (515154) | more than 9 years ago | (#12884383)

Just to be fair. Just because the price is cheap and the voice actor is not experienced does not mean it's not going to be good. There are prenty up and coming artists who probally wouldn't ask completely insane prices to a chance to get spotlighted.

On a similar thought, I hate it (in animated films or games) where the voice is so dominate that it overshadows that art. (examples, the complete Madegascar (spelling) lineup, Sam L Jackson in GTA:SA, etc etc)

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 9 years ago | (#12886008)

You do realize that the acting in Resident Evil was supposed to be campy and terrible, right? The whole game was an homage to the concept of the B-movie. Good acting would've completely ruined that.

Rob

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888721)

It didn't ruin the original Dawn of the Dead, which is what actually inspired the game.

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (1)

May Kasahara (606310) | more than 9 years ago | (#12886374)

Fact is visuals and sound are the two senses that video games have to deal with. Ignoreing one is just silly.

Not to be nitpicky, but what about the sense of touch? I would think that would be incredibly important, especially with today's hardware (vibrating controllers, pressure-sensitive buttons, etc.) and peripherals.

But even so, a third is still a lot. Seeing as how voice acting is a given in so many games these days, I agree that it should be done well whenever possible.

Re:Screw Voice Acting, To Be Blunt (1)

Minna Kirai (624281) | more than 9 years ago | (#12886878)

Compare the acting in RE1 "master of unlocking"

That example shows why acting is unimportant... who cares about acting quality when the script is so bad? A good writer / translator and a decent director are what's needed there. Even if they'd hired Harrison Ford, he couldn't make "You, the master of unlocking, should take it with you" sound cool.

Fact is visuals and sound are the two senses that video games have to deal with.

True, but voice acting is a tiny part of the sound experience of a game. Foley and music are much more important than speech, which many players try to skip through as rapidly as possible, even on the first play-through.

If they wanted to listen to actors go on and on, they'd have gotten a DVD, not a video game.

Is this actually meaningful? (1)

CommiePuddin (891854) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882068)

How many games are sold strictly on the strength of a SAG member's likeness being in it? I can't think of a title (unless we count John Madden, et. al.).

Re:Is this actually meaningful? (1)

kaptron (850747) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882282)

Yeah, usually not... although movie licensed titles often use the real actors (i.e. Batman Begins), it is rarely the focus of their marketing or advertising, and considering lots of those games are targeted towards kids, kids probably wouldn't even notice when the real actors aren't used (i.e. Shrek 2). But, it is a nice bonus when people like Samuel L. Jackson show up in games like GTA:SA.

btw, I doubt John Madden is a member of SAG.

Re:Is this actually meaningful? (1)

kaptron (850747) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882429)

as an addendum to my post, I should say that even when they aren't the "real" movie actors, they are still SAG. But since people were talking about whether or not it was important to hire big name actors, I guess that kind of confused the real issue, which is SAG vs. your average voice actor off the street.

Re:Is this actually meaningful? (1)

FroBugg (24957) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882391)

It's not about likenesses, it's about getting actual actors to do the voice acting.

There's thousands of actors in SAG who aren't Sam Jackson or Harrison Ford. If you want professional-quality voice acting, you're going to get guild actors.

Sure, game makers could have their programmers or people on the street do the voices, but then you end up with crappy voice acting, which gets real annoying before long.

Re:Is this actually meaningful? (2, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882489)

Just because they're in the union doesn't mean they deserve the title of a voice actor. Many games with professional voice acting sound as if they'd let the coders record the voices.

Re:Is this actually meaningful? (1)

Loonacy (459630) | more than 9 years ago | (#12891716)

XIII
I can't say i'm a fan, but I do like David Duchovny quite a bit. However, his acting in XIII was AWFUL. In the opening scene, where he says "Ugh, my head." it sounded like he had picked up a piece of paper and was reading it to himself out loud, trying to figure out what it was saying. And his performance through the rest of the game wasn't much better.
This is one instance where it would have been better to get some random person to read the script than going with a highly-recognizable actor.

Re:Is this actually meaningful? (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882532)

There's tons of poor students in theatrics who can act. The trouble is getting that one male actor who doesn't exude that strange homosexual voice pattern stereotyped on TV, or is able to at least overcome it. Because pretty much every video game is about Mr The Man kicking ass, taking names and chewing bubblegum, or Madam Buxum doing those exact same things while managing a pair breasts that seem to move of their own free will.

Re:Is this actually meaningful? (1)

Gramaton Cleric (853219) | more than 9 years ago | (#12888168)

Sorry, I need to place a comment here. SAG merged with SEG about 22-24 years ago. I know this because I have been a member of SAG since 1978. The members of SEG or some people called them RAG were the actors that performed on Radio, primarily for their voice talents. If there was a distinction today that would divide SAG into who is capable of what, that would make it easier. I know of a few Big Ticket SAG members that would NOT and DO NOT do well in the voice acting medium. But since we want Big Ticket people to perform these, for the Big$$ payoff (they are hoping), they will hire their "name". I hope this clears up a few things and gives you an idea what they have to work with.

Terrible news (2, Funny)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882188)

This is terrible news. How on earth will an industry that is putting a lot into R&D to develop virtual beings with simulated appearances and voices going to get actors to do voice overs and appear in mini-movies?

Oh, hold on, I think I have an idea on how they can do it...

So whats the real story. (2, Informative)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 9 years ago | (#12882809)

Is the rejection based on them not getting the "residuals" or was there something more?

I recall reading an entry on Wil's site
" http://www.wilwheaton.net/mt/archives/003293.php#0 03293 [wilwheaton.net] "

that had the perspective from the non big name hollywood voice actors, was very good as well there is a recent addition responding to the personal attacks Wil recieved shortly after his orginal post.

I think we forget about the majority of actors that do voice actor.. I am not talking hollywood A-list types but the guy who does it along with working at Starbucks or where ever.

But i'd like to know more about what they are really demanding before I make my judgement.

Re:So whats the real story. (1)

MrAndrews (456547) | more than 9 years ago | (#12883015)

I have no inside knowledge of this at all, but it sounds to me like it's political posturing within SAG, pure and simple. One faction wants to appear militantly pro-membership (at the expense of all else), and they're in a position to throw their weight around. It's not really a question of reason or rightness or anything else, it's all about making a scene, drawing a line in the sand, and turning the other side into "pro-industry" stooges.

Let me get this straight.... (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 9 years ago | (#12883047)

They thought they were going to have a contract with the entire games industry?

Excuse me while I catch my breath from laughing so hard.

Looks like game developers will have to continue doing what they do most of the time... Hire non-union talent.

Oh no.

How I imagined it went down... (1)

flabbergast (620919) | more than 9 years ago | (#12883115)

This is how I imagined the conversation went between the game industry and SAG

SAG: Well, we get points and residuals in movies.
Game Industry: We don't make movies.
SAG: Yes, we understand that. But, points/residuals is how SAG has always operated.
GI: Yeah, but we don't make movies.
SAG: Yes, I understand that, but that's how we've always worked.
GI: And the game industry has always worked without residuals.
SAG: But, but, but...fine, we strike.
GI: Fine. AFTRA has agreed to our most recent contract, so we'll go ahead and use TV and Radio actors.
SAG: Fine. Jerks. No more Wil Wheaton for you!

I can only speak for myself ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12883732)

I can only speak for myself but I would rather have a computer generated voice that sounded like Stephen Hawking than to give these 'actors' any extra money. Lets face it, the people who make or break a game are the Programmers, Level Designers, Artists, Directors and Producers who spend years to produce these games; the actor who spends a WEEK saying stupid phrases into a microphone is essentially irrelevant.

Oh noes? (1)

DamienNightbane (768702) | more than 9 years ago | (#12884937)

The fact of the matter is that games have thrived for many years before they even had voice acting. Losing a bunch of overpriced, self important little shits isn't going to hurt the industry.

In fact, it may end up helping the industry by freeing it from the whiny bitches in Holywood and encouraging game companies to hire people off the street who can do the job just as well but will work for peanuts.

In short, fuck SAG.

Why do all of you think residuals is so bad? (1)

DeadMilkman (855027) | more than 9 years ago | (#12885029)

Seriously These guys aren't making millions...I KNOW VIDEO GAME VOICE ACTORS...not one of them pulls even a "normal" 30k salary based off their Voice work. Most of them get a few good day or two jobs a year ..maybe 10, 1 hour or two sessions. so that ends the "they are making more than the programmers" arguement. Even these changes will not change that. Next arguement "They will have to hire less programmers...skimp in other places...etc" You have no frigging CLUE what you are talking about...Risiduals are NOT repeat NOT repeat NOT Royalties...Risiduals ONLY happen AFTER profitability AND a certain number of units (x) is sold. The estimates were last year only 30 titles would have been effected...that places X at WELL OVER 500,000 units (12 did over 1million sales, ~50 did over 500k sales) There is no way residuals would effect the coding talent able to work a game as all the coders would have to be paid AND recieve any bonuses THEY make FIRST before residuals would kick in. Next up: Why do they deserve it and not "insert job here"? Have you ever considered that once one group gets it the others will have that much more leverage to get such treatment...it has to start somewhere or management just gets to excuse it off saying "we dont' do that for everyone else why should we do it for you" instead of having workers say "we demand more because you pay --- more and we are just as good"

....fuck HTML formated defaults... (1)

DeadMilkman (855027) | more than 9 years ago | (#12885051)


fuck my wonderful stupidity...

Here's a properly formatted one:

Seriously These guys aren't making millions...
I KNOW VIDEO GAME VOICE ACTORS... not one of them pulls even a "normal" 30k salary based off their Voice work. Most of them get a few good day or two jobs a year.. maybe 10, 1 hour or two sessions.

So that ends the "they are making more than the programmers" arguement. Even these changes will not change that.

Next arguement "They will have to hire less programmers...skimp in other places...etc"

You have no frigging CLUE what you are talking about...

Risiduals are NOT repeat NOT repeat NOT Royalties...

Risiduals ONLY happen AFTER profitability AND a certain number of units (x) is sold. The estimates were last year only 30 titles would have been effected...that places X at WELL OVER 500,000 units (12 did over 1million sales, ~50 did over 500k sales) There is no way residuals would effect the coding talent able to work a game as all the coders would have to be paid AND recieve any bonuses THEY make FIRST before residuals would kick in.

Next up: Why do they deserve it and not "insert job here"?

Have you ever considered that once one group gets it the others will have that much more leverage to get such treatment...it has to start somewhere or management just gets to excuse it off saying "we dont' do that for everyone else why should we do it for you" instead of having workers say "we demand more because you pay --- more and we are just as good"

You're an idiot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12885397)

"Seriously These guys aren't making millions...
I KNOW VIDEO GAME VOICE ACTORS... not one of them pulls even a "normal" 30k salary based off their Voice work. Most of them get a few good day or two jobs a year.. maybe 10, 1 hour or two sessions."

And they get paid for the full day of work at their exorbitant salary. Here's a thought, why don't get a normal fucking job? Oh wait, that's right, they're art majors, and so they figure the world should fucking revolve around them and their daily drama. Oh, woe is them.

"Risiduals are NOT repeat NOT repeat NOT Royalties..."

You had two chances to to do this, and you still couldn't spell "residuals" correctly. Truly, an example for the modern day moron.

A 25% instant pay raise to $675/hour minimum wage is, I repeat IS going to cause them to skimp out on other stuff.

"Have you ever considered that once one group gets it the others will have that much more leverage to get such treatment...it has to start somewhere or management just gets to excuse it off saying "we dont' do that for everyone else why should we do it for you" instead of having workers say "we demand more because you pay --- more and we are just as good"

Have you ever considered that there's no way that the little shits who work on the voice talent should be getting a pay increase or residuals at all, even if everyone else across the board gets one? In the span of game development, voice acting is higher than the secretary at the door, and that's about it. The previous article said that voice actors were responsible of 1/2400 of the total work hours on the game. So they can all orally service the entire dev company before they deserve getting a cut, and they certainly don't fucking deserve a piece of the pie before everyone else.

Re:....fuck HTML formated defaults... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12885666)

Voice actors don't necessarily belong to SAG.

There will still be plenty of professional voice actors willing to work.

There really is no problem apart from one union of spoilt actors believing their ego is justified.

Re:....fuck HTML formated defaults... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12885912)

The argument that 'only 50 games sold over 500k units' only adds strength to the argument that no on, in particular voice actors, should get residuals.

The fact is that only a handful of games are actually profitable and that publishers continue to support game development because of how profitable those handful of games are. If we go down the slippery slope of residuals (starting with voice actors) soon Programmers, Directors, Producers, Level Designers, Modelers, artists, etc. all start getting their residuals; after all if a person who does 1 week worth of work deserves them so does everyone. This means that the Publisher will make less money.

Now I know what you're thinking; much like every good communist the thought is "Why do large coporations need to make large profits?" Well the answer is simple, because if they don't make profits they will take their capital to a more profitable venture. Without the capital no games will be produced.

Re:....fuck HTML formated defaults... (1)

Catnapster (531547) | more than 9 years ago | (#12887150)

Guess what? If they can't make any money off of it then they can go get another job.

I know a guy who builds and paints models on commission for table-top war games like Warhammer. Some months he can make upward of $1000 - but most of the time he only gets a few hundred a month. That's not enough to live off of... which is why he has a real job, too.

If voice actors actually feel like they should get paid enough doing 10 hours of work a year to live off of, I have no sympathy for them. They're complaining that they don't get enough money for working fewer hours in a year than I do in one day!

Re:Why do all of you think residuals is so bad? (1)

furiousgeorge (30912) | more than 9 years ago | (#12886065)

>>Seriously These guys aren't making millions...I
>>KNOW VIDEO GAME VOICE ACTORS...not one of them
>>pulls even a "normal" 30k salary based off their
>>Voice work. Most of them get a few good day or
>>two jobs a year ..maybe 10, 1 hour or two >>sessions. so that ends the "they are making more
>>than the programmers" arguement.

So? You work a 'few hours' on a project, and you expect to get a share of profits? (or 'risiduals' or whatever games you want to play). Um... fuck off. The janitor that cleans our offices EVERY DAMN DAY deserves more than you. Pick up a broom and you might have a better argument.

"A few good day or two jobs a year"? So? Don't blame me for your bad career choice. Theres a bunch of fat girls down at the mall that wish they were supermodels too. Guess what - they aren't going to get profit sharing from Vogue either.

In 99% of situtations, the SAG people are completely disposable when it comes to games. And you will be disposed of. If you expect to get residuals when you do a few hours of voice work, while we have a team of 70+ people in my office that work 1-2 YEARS on a project...... well your whines are going to fall on deaf ears.

Yours sincerely
A Games Programmer

Re:Why do all of you think residuals is so bad? (1)

Quarters (18322) | more than 9 years ago | (#12886678)

It doesn't matter how you format it, your post is still uneducated crap.

Why should some voice actor doing work-for-hire get residuals for their miniscule contribution to a game when the designers, level builders, programmers, and artists don't get any? So a voice actor puts in a few hours and gets a few hundred dollars, why should that contribution be considered more important than any of the work done by the people who designed and build the game? Games aren't movies. The members of SAC aren't the important ones in this industry. They need to get over their ingrained feelings of self-entitlement and realize that they are providing a commodity product. Not a face, not name recognition, but a product (that just happens to be a recording of their voice). Unlike movies they aren't vitally important.

Any of the above listed games industry workers puts in around 5000 hours making a game. I'm being a bit conservative with that number, too. That's 2 years of 50 hr weeks. Now who do you think should be first in line for residuals? The people who lost out on their family lives / personal time, the people who stayed late and came in on weekends, the people that created new emergent game design, ground breaking AI algorhythms, and gigabytes upon gigabytes of art/sound content; or some SAC member who owns a house in Brentwood, has four sports cars, is on the A-List in Hollywood, and probably doesn't know one thing about actually making a game? Here's a hint, Wil Weaton is wrong about who should get the money.

The games industry is not the movie industry. The voice actors aren't who make or break a title. It's the people toiling away behind their computers for pretty much nothing more than the love of making games.

Your argument about how letting SAC voice actors get residuals (not the spelling) will posibly help games industry people get residuals is total and utter crap. There are no altruisitic motives behind the SAC bs. They want money, pure and simple. We don't need them acting like their helping us. If they think we deserve residuals then they should be arguing that we get them first and then they get them. Helping us by cutting in line isn't helping, it's being selfish.

Re:Why do all of you think residuals is so bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12886744)

People who work in the video game industry are generally speaking up for a complete assfucking in terms of pay and conditions. You may friend are trying to defend their lack of common sense and backbone by criticising a group of people sensible enough to take collective action. People like you make me sick. Its not for the voice actors to put up with being ripped off just because a bunch of anti-social autists haven't got the sense to grow up and demonstrate some balls.

Re:Why do all of you think residuals is so bad? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 9 years ago | (#12887660)

so that ends the "they are making more than the programmers" arguement.

That never has been an argument. What everyone's been saying is that programmers work 60+ hours a week for two years straight, yet a voice actor comes in for a few hours and makes more than $150 an hour. If a programmer got paid that kind of rate, they'd be raking in close to half a million dollars a year.

Next arguement "They will have to hire less programmers...skimp in other places...etc" You have no frigging CLUE what you are talking about...

Actually, you're the one with "no frigging CLUE". Where do you think the residuals will come from? Out of the profits that the publishers expect to get from a product? Bahaha. Think again. That money will come out of the money that currently goes to developers, which means that residuals for voice actors will negatively impact the people who actually make the games.

Have you ever considered that once one group gets it the others will have that much more leverage to get such treatment...

Then here's a solution: SAG/AFTRA convinces games industry workers to unionize, and fights to get residuals included in the games industry workers' contracts. Once that happens, SAG/AFTRA will have a much easier time getting the games industry to give residuals to voice actors.

But no, SAG isn't interested in helping out anybody but the brand-name actors in the highest profile positions within the organization. If they were interested in helping out the rank-and-file voice actors, they would have accepted the contract (which included a minimum pay rate increase) as it stands right now instead of quibbling over residuals.

Unions Not Representing Their Members (1)

lorelorn (869271) | more than 9 years ago | (#12886291)

So, a union executive has ignored the wishes of its members to score points in its own factional infighting?

Cue the sound of people familiar with unions falling over with not suprise.

Re:Unions Not Representing Their Members (1)

cidhawk (732233) | more than 9 years ago | (#12889055)

Ah alas, like all good parents, the board of directors know best.

Silly Actors.... (1)

CFTM (513264) | more than 9 years ago | (#12890028)

Personally, I don't give a rats ass about voice acting in video games. In most games I play, I have the sound turned down because listening to the same redundant soundtracks over and over again drives me insane. For me, video games are all about the story and voice acting DOES NOT IMPROVE STORY. Besides, half the time they talk too fucking slow. I can read a hell of a lot faster than they can talk and I don't like getting bogged down by some slow-reading voice actor [I know if the actor reads slow it's because of the script probably but you get the point]. Throw on the subtitles, put some music on I really want to listen to and I'm golden.

Voice Actors in Video Games are sorta like NHL Players...don't let the door hit you on the way out!
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