The looming SA-AFTRA strike is going to have a huge impact on the entertainment industry should it go forward. Union members voted 98% in favour of strike authorization regarding the Interactive Media Agreement. This agreement covers video game work and with that 98%, it means that if SAG-AFTRA doesn’t get the agreed terms, it could immediately go on strike.
The strike has been on the horizon for some time now. SAG-AFTRA has been negotiating with a handful of video game giants and publishers since October 2022. So far, the negotiations have failed over what the union calls “unacceptable terms on issues most critical to our members”.
SAG-AFTRA wants wages that keep up with inflation, protections around exploitive uses of AI and basic safety precautions.” Given the uptake of AI in the video game industry, most recently with The Finals, this is going to be quite a nasty negotiation.
Take-Two, on the other hand, says the strike, should it take place, will not affect the development of GTA 6. During the recent Take-Two earnings call, CEO Strauss Zelnick said he was optimistic about reaching an agreement when talks resume this month. However, should the strike happen, the next Grand Theft Auto game should not be impacted by it.
When asked whether or not the strike would slow things down on the game, Zelnick claimed that Rockstar was “completely protected”.
“Negotiations are expected to resume next week. We’re optimistic, we value all of our talent greatly, we value excellent labour relations and we’re looking forward to reaching an agreement that serves everyone well.That’s always been my approach. I’ve been involved with labour negotiations in every entertainment industry there is in my career and they’ve always worked out just fine. In the event that they don’t work out just fine, we are completely protected.”
If you missed it, Rockstar Games officially announced GTA 6 (we assume it will be called this). The game will debut its first trailer in early December according to Rockstar.