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SAG-AFTRA announces fourth tier to new indie dev contract

Indie projects between $15 million to $30 million will now be covered by its Independent Interactive Media Agreement

SAG-AFTRA has announced a new tier in its Independent Interactive Media Agreement.

As part of this agreement, studios that have a project budget between $15 million and $30 million will benefit from union coverage, provisions against AI, and access to unionised voice actors and performers.

Actors will be provided with informed consent and compensation for the use of digital replicas, and will be provided with additional payments based on the number of units sold.

Unveiled in February, the Independent Interactive Media Agreement initially covered projects across three tiers, between $250,000 to $15 million.

"With this expanded scope of the agreement, even more projects will benefit from the skills and experience of union performers, and performers will have more opportunities to work with the benefits and protections of a union contract, including important AI guardrails," said Sarah Elmaleh, voice actor and chair of SAG-AFTRA's Interactive Media Agreement negotiating committee.

"As a union, we are committed to creating contracts and waivers that foster actor-developer collaboration across every budget and scope. Thousands of video games are released every year and each one deserves to benefit from union talent."

Last September, SAG-AFTRA members voted in favour of strike authorisation for video game actors and performers, but failed to reach an agreement with game companies including Activision, Electronic Arts, and Warner Bros about the Tiered-Budget Independent Interactive Media Agreement.

Earlier this month, spoke to Elmaleh and SAG-AFTRA executive director and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland about the ongoing bargaining, who said the delay in negotiations was a result of talks about AI protection.

"What needs to happen in order for this to move forward and us not to end up on strike against these companies is for them to revisit their resistance and their instance on splitting off our members and protecting some and not others," said Crabtree-Ireland. "That's how this ultimately gets resolved."

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Sophie McEvoy avatar
Sophie McEvoy: Sophie McEvoy is a Staff Writer at She is based in Hampshire and has been a gaming & entertainment journalist since 2018.
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