Video games have come an extremely long way where quality is concerned -- worlds have expanded to become interactive journeys that players can spend days exploring, graphics are nearly realistic in their crisp beauty, and the performances that the actors that bring our favorite characters to life have become emotional, award-winning memories that truly stand the test of time.
But not all is well behind the mic. If you've not caught it on twitter yet, several voice over artists within the video game industry voted on a "strike in the field of Interactive [Video Game] Media" in response to years of unfair contracts from several big name studios. Underpaid for their time, several of gaming's most iconic voices took to social media to show off their ballots and tweet the resounding "yes" to the strike.
According to the SAG-AFTRA website, the renegotiations has been taking place since February, and a second meeting in June adjourned with no agreement. Regarding the case, SAG-AFTRA states:
As you might know, the Interactive Media Agreement was first negotiated by SAG and AFTRA in the mid-1990s, and this agreement is still the template we use today despite radical changes in what we are required to do on set and in the recording studio. We’re looking to bring this long-standing agreement into the 21st Century by addressing the following issues, which were arrived at after extensive one-on-one, small group and big meeting interactions and discussions with members like you.
Several recognizable talents are speaking out on social media and preparing for the strike - can you spot some of your favorites?
One of the voices at the head of the charge is Steve Blum, a modern-day voice over legend -- if you've played video games, or enjoy any animated shows, you've likely heard him at least once.
Along with providing many of our favorite animated voices of all time, Phil Lamarr has brought some of our favorite superheroes to life in video games -- including Aquaman -- and has provided hundreds of voices throughout some of your favorite video games.
Tara Strong is an acclaimed voice actress, best known around these parts as the voice of Harley Quinn.
On top of delivering an emotional, psychotic performance as Azula in Avatar: The Last Airbender, Grey DeLisle has countless roles throughout video games -- but is probably best known for her portrayals of Jeanne in Bayonetta, and the reprisals of her cartoon roles for the video game spinoffs of The Fairly Oddparents and Billy & Mandy.
Yuri Lowenthal burst onto the scene in the early 2000's and has been a staple ever since, scoring lead roles in video games such as the Saints Row series, Ben 10: Omniverse, and Persona 3. You'll also recognize him as the Toy Box Narrator who guides you through Disney Infinity.
It seems as though the vote is leaning toward a resounding yes, giving fans of video games an unclear picture of what performances might be like in the not-so-distant future. Stick around for more news as it develops.