A New SAG-AFTRA Deal Allows AI Voice Acting for Video Games but Sparks Backlash From Industry Talents
SAG-AFTRA’s recent agreement with AI voice studio Replica Studios has triggered discontent among prominent voice actors. The union claims this deal, allowing Replica to engage SAG-AFTRA members for creating and licensing digital voice replicas, is groundbreaking and ethical.
Despite SAG-AFTRA’s assertion that the deal was approved by affected members, several top voice actors voiced dissent. Elias Toufexis, known for his role as Adam Jensen in Deus Ex, stated on X no one sought his opinion, a sentiment echoed by Steve Blum. Critics question the lack of consultation and transparency regarding the AI deal.
Replica Studios, in response, invited questions about its processes and emphasized a focus on consent, contracts, and compensation. The company aims to enhance creativity and narrative storytelling, benefitting voice talent, game studios, and consumers.
SAG-AFTRA’s negotiations for video game voice actors included discussions on AI usage, mirroring concerns in the TV and film world. While a strike authorization occurred in September, a strike has yet to happen.
The debate underscores industry tensions over AI’s role, especially in creative sectors, and raises questions about the broader implications for voice actors in the gaming landscape.