This is why I support a SAG-AFTRA strike authorization for video games — and it isn’t about money.
Wil Wheaton
51751

Most people don’t understand the nearly untenable business model of the acting career. Nor do they get that many of the series regulars they see on TV still live in apartments in the valley, because they can’t afford to buy a house. A comparison between a game designer or animator to a voice actor with regard to compensation is a meaningless one. And irrelevant to the issue of how voice actors get paid. One is a full-time employee with benefits and a steady paycheck. The other is a self-employed contractor who must often spend much more time auditioning than working. They get paid differently. Much like regular employees get bonuses based on how well a game sells or its metascore, residuals offer actors financial compensation tied to the success their work, at least in part, brings to the game. Further, residuals offer game publishers a way to fairly pay talent without having to pay it all up front or at all, if the game tanks or doesn’t get distributed. So it’s an inherently fair system. The problem publishers have is that they know actors wouldn’t pursue such a thankless, arduous profession if they were driven by anything but pure passion. Everyone knows actors will work for peanuts, so that’s what game publishers would prefer to pay. As for all the snarky, petulant, anti-union comments on Twitter, I find them to be as intelligent, well thought out and grounded in fact as just about every tweet, which is to say not very.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Paul Taegel’s story.