With SAG-AFTRA video game actors and major video game companies still negotiating over a new union contract amid a year packed with major labor actions, the possibility of a video game actor strike continues to loom. But one major gaming executive isn’t worried about the possibility: the CEO of GTA 6 publisher Take-Two Interactive.
Answering an investor question on today’s Take-Two earnings call about whether or not GTA 6 could see a delay if a strike happened, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick seemed to think it was unlikely that SAG-AFTRA’s video game actors would go on strike like their TV and film brethren. Rather, he said he thought negotiations would turn out “just fine.”
As he put it, “Negotiations are expected to resume next week. We’re optimistic. We value all of our talent greatly. We value excellent labor relations, we’re looking forward to reaching an agreement that serves everyone well.”
However, he added that “in the event they don’t work out just fine now, we are completely protected.”
What the strike could mean for GTA 6
SAG-AFTRA film and television actors are currently on strike as they continue to hash out a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Video game actors are not striking from video game work just yet, but they did authorize a strike back in September if union negotiators feel one is necessary during negotiations. Contract negotiations have thus far not resulted in an agreement, and negotiations have been on hold for several weeks.
If a strike happens, companies including Take-Two, Activision, EA, Insomniac, and WB Games could all see potential impacts. We spoke to SAG-AFTRA representatives in September about what they’re bargaining over, including protections against being replaced by AI, set pay increases to keep up with inflation, and mandatory breaks and set medics for on-camera performers.
Zelnick’s confidence that GTA 6 would not be impacted by such a strike can perhaps be taken as a hint that voice performances for the game have already been recorded, indicating it may be close to the finish line. While the long-awaited sequel to GTA 5 has long been whispered about, we just learned this morning that we’ll see the first trailer for it in early December. And Take-Two’s financial expectations seem to be hinting at a release date sometime next year.
Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Author: Rebekah Valentine