I’ve read the whole thing and…
My only answer is; “Boohoohoo… Sucks to be you.”
Residual payment is complete nonsense. Why would voice actors be more entitled to that over, let’s say, the animators; those guys that bring characters to life. Or the programmer, you know, those guys that spend thousand of hours reading and writing code so that the game is simply possible.
I can understand the limit of time over stressful voice session; but realistically, how many 7–8 hours non-stop session have you done so far? Have you tried talking to the audio producer about that? Most video game developers are quite open to negotiating when it’s in good faith and doesn’t require them to go talk to the management board or pushing back their deadline for weeks. Why hide behind a union? Because it prevents those company from hiring people not unionized?
SAG-AFTRA fining anybody is simply ludicrous, but I wonder where it comes from. Is it because that they had times where nobody showed up? Where an actors decided to simply not be there or waste the time of a whole MoCap/MoCam team? Or because the union decided they could “soft-strike” against specific studio, preventing actor from even auditioning? Well, to me, those fine are as ludicrous as voice actors getting secondary payments!
If it’s not for secondary payments, don’t even bring it to the negotiation table. Your work — even if important — is just a tiny fraction of the work needed to make a video game possible. You will never be able to convince me that your work is more important or more deserving then the other artists who sometimes do 80–100 hours per week to make sure the game is made.
“along with the programmers and engineers, of course”
Programmers and engineers? It really shows you have no clue what goes behind the scene to make a game. Just how many people are required and how many hours of work. Modeler, texturer, rigger, animator, level designer, world designer, game designer, cinematic integrator, sound designer, sound integrator, composer, and so many others I’m forgetting right now.
Do you know why it feels like an insult that voice actors feels entitled to secondary payment? Because at best, you come on a project and do a few days — maybe even a few weeks — of recording and you’re done, while others have spend years of their life making it possible. They built that universe, brick by brick. Unlike movies or TV where the actor play is crucial in making or breaking the product, it is not the case in a video game. A game could have the best voice play over the best story ever, if it’s not fun to play, it’s going to fail. While a fun game — even with poor voice acting — can easily succeed.
I’ve spent 10 years in the industry and I’m currently starting my own video game studio. I hope I’m giving you an glimpse of what’s going on behind the scene.