Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Hollywood unions reach deal with video game makers

Filed under
Gaming

Hollywood actors unions have reached a contract deal with video game publishers, accepting higher pay instead of the profit-sharing they had demanded, the unions said Wednesday, removing the threat of a strike.

The three-and-a-half-year agreements with game companies came as the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) were preparing to announce the results of a strike vote.

Unions had sought to win profit-sharing, known as residual payments, from game publishers.

Under the new agreements, union performers will get a 36 percent increase in minimum pay over the term, increases in benefit contributions and greater protection. The agreements are subject to final approval by the unions.

The unions, which said they struck the deal with reluctance, vowed to continue their bid to win payments for actors for each game sold. Actors who appear in movies and television shows receive residual payments when those works are shown again.

"While we did not get all that we want ... and deserve ... this contract is another important step in building artists' power in this growing sector of the media industry," said John Connolly, AFTRA's national president.

"We will spend the next three-and-a-half years devoting resources to further organize this industry, and return to the bargaining table with renewed strength and vigor to establish a fair participation in the enormous profits generated by video games," SAG President Melissa Gilbert said.

Union members' previous three-year interactive game contracts expired in December. Negotiations started on Feb. 15 but broke down on May 13.

Hollywood plays an increasingly important role in the video game industry -- which, like U.S. movie ticket sales, brings in around $10 billion in annual revenue -- as game developers tap movie stars to bring life to characters.

The best-selling game of 2004, "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," featured the voices of actors like Samuel L. Jackson and Peter Fonda.

Just behind it on the sales charts was "Halo 2" with the voices of Miguel Ferrer and Keith David.
And it is now common for movie actors to be required to contribute to related video games.

More than 70 game publishers previously had arrangements with SAG and AFTRA, which together represent about 3,000 performers working in the video game industry.

A spokesman for the coalition of game developers was not immediately available for comment.

© Reuters 2005.

More in Tux Machines

Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

Leftovers: Gaming

  • Company of Heroes 2 Might Be Coming Out For Linux
    While last year developers on the Company of Heroes 2 game said a Linux port was unlikely, recent Steam activity indicates that a Linux port is likely in the works. Company of Heroes 2 is a World War II set real-time strategy game developed by Relic Entertainment and sequel to the original Company of Heroes game. The Company of Heroes 2 title is powered by the Essence 3.0 Game Engine, which is proprietary to Relic Entertainment, uses a DirectX renderer, and designed around Windows. Company of Heroes 2 was released last summer for Microsoft Windows and is available on Steam.
  • Metro 2033 Redux Will Hopefully Hit Linux Real Soon
  • Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth for Linux No Longer Has a Release Date
    Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, the next game in the Civilization series developed by Firaxis, no longer has a Linux launch date. When 2K Games and Firaxis announced that the upcoming Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth launch will also include a Linux version, gamers were ecstatic. This was supposed to be the silver bullet for the Linux platform, but it looks like we're going to be skipped.
  • Civilization: Beyond Earth for Mac has been postponed indefinitely
  • SteamOS Beta 133 Released
    Besides the normal security fixes, this release features a newer Linux kernel (no specifics) that boasts more network drivers and better Intel graphics performance. On top of that this release also features the Nvidia 340.32 drivers which fixes some of the white screen bugs when switching between modes.
  • SteamOS Update 133 Has Better Intel Performance, VA-API
    Valve released this morning the 133 update to the SteamOS Alchemist Beta. With this update comes new packages and other updates.
  • Crystal Picnic, A Colourful 2D RPG Released
    Crystal Picnic is a lighthearted and colourful tribute to the classic era of action RPGs! Join a sarcastic gardener and a wannabe knight as they journey across the kingdom chasing after ants who stole magic crystals from the castle. Oh, and did we mention the ants have gone mad because they're EATING those crystals? Yeah, that makes things much more unpredictable! Hours of exploration, mesmerizing platform-style combat, plenty of new friends to meet and loads of wacky enemies to encounter. When you fight chubby birds and ants carrying bazookas, you know you're in for a good time!
  • Metro 2033 Redux Shows Up in the Steam for Linux Database
    Metro 2033 Redux, a remake of the original Metro 2033 FPS released back in 2010, will be getting a Linux release on Steam for Linux. The developers from 4A Games have reworked the original title and they have introduced high resolution textures and new effects. In addition to that, they have reworked a number of gameplay aspects too. All of these have been done to get the game ready for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. They didn't ignored the PC, and Steam users will also be able to enjoy the game in a new coat.
  • Team Fortress 2 Receives Update with Important Balancing Changes

Linux on the desktop isn't dead

At LinuxCon this year, the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, was asked what he wanted for Linux. His response? "The desktop." For years, the call to Linux action was "World Domination." In certain markets, this has happened (think Linux helping to power Android and Chrome OS). On the desktop, however, Linux still has a long, long way to go. Wait... that came out wrong. I don't mean "Linux has a long, long way to go before it's ready for the desktop." What I meant to say is something more akin to "Linux is, in fact, desktop ready... it just hasn't found an inroad to the average consumer desktop." Read more