SAG-AFTRA members have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new video game contract and end the longest actors’ strike in U.S. history. The 340-day strike, which was launched against 11 major companies on Oct. 21, 2016, was suspended on Sept. 25 when the union reached a deal with the companies. That deal was unanimously approved by the guild’s board last month, and now with the ratification, the strike is officially over.

The union said that the members voted by a margin of 90% to 10% to ratify the agreement, but did not release the actual vote totals. Only those who had earnings under the contract after Jan. 1, 2008, were allowed to vote. Informational voting cards were mailed to approximately 7,200 affected members, of which only 10% voted. Based on those numbers, the pact was approved by a vote of about 648 to 72.

Gabrielle Carteris

“This agreement is the first step towards streamlining the work our members do in the video game industry,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “The deal includes significant improvements in the area of transparency and the payment structure ensures that our members are compensated fairly for their work. I am excited for what this means for our members moving forward.”

The main feature of the new contract is a bonus structure that provides additional payments to performers based on the number of sessions worked. Those bonuses begin with an additional $75 payment on the first session and can add up to $2,100 after 10 sessions worked.

It’s not quite the type of residuals system the union stuck for, but in the end, it was close enough to end the strike.  SAG-AFTRA had been seeking a back-end payments schedule that would have given performers a full day’s pay for every 500,000 units sold, up to four secondary payments if the game sells 2 million units.

“The bonus payments we asked for are now part of the video game industry and are a base from which to build upon,” said Keythe Farley, chair of the union’s negotiating committee. “I’m excited for all that we have achieved.”

SAG-AFTRA video game strike merger anniversary video
David Robb/Deadline

The new pact also contains new transparency provisions that the union says “will enhance the bargaining power of our members’ representatives by requiring the companies to disclose the code name of the project, its genre, whether the game is based on previously published intellectual property and whether the performer is reprising a prior role. Members are also protected by the disclosure of whether they will be required to use unusual terminology, profanity or racial slurs, whether there will be content of a sexual or violent nature and whether stunts will be required.”

The contract also includes an employer commitment to continue working with SAG-AFTRA on the issue of vocal stress during the term of the agreement.

“This negotiation was hard fought and hard won,” said SAG-AFTRA national executive director David White. “We achieved a stronger successor agreement and I am proud of the results.”

“The bonus payments we asked for are now part of the video game industry and are a base from which to build upon,” said Keythe Farley, chair of the union’s negotiating committee. “I’m excited for all that we have achieved.”

The contact becomes effective November 8 and expires November 7, 2020.