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Actors Flinch to Gamers’ Strong Stand

Stopping the potential for a strike, SAG and AFTRA have comes too terms with the videogame publishers, backing down from their demand for residuals from the $7 billion videogame industry, reports VARIETY. Yet, the actors will be a hefty 36% increase in the base rate of $556.20 per session for voiceover work. In addition, the guilds won payment for the use of their performances in promotional material, additional money for reuse of a single performance in multiple titles and for games delivered over the Internet instead of on disc, a 7.5% increase in contributions to the unions' benefit plans and other small gains.

Deal extends through the end of 2008.

SAG president Melissa Gilbert said, "Our members clearly support the inclusion of residuals in our interactive contracts. However, with great reluctance, our negotiating committee concluded that it is in the interests of the members who work these contracts to make this deal. We will spend the next three-and-a-half years devoting resources to further organize this industry, and return to the bargaining table with renewed strength and vigor to establish a fair participation in the enormous profits generated by videogames."

"This agreement is a win for both sides," said vidgame companies' chief negotiator Howard Fabrick. "The deal permits continued employment and a generous increase in compensation for voice actors while allowing vidgame publishers to continue working with the union talent they prefer."

The agreement now has to be approved by SAG's national exec committee and AFTRA's national administrative committee, which will both meet in a few weeks.

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