Tens of thousands of actors in the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) union are on strike, shutting down numerous film and TV productions. Members of the union can’t act in television, theatrical, or streaming productions under strike rules, nor can they promote projects they’ve already filmed. But they can work on other types of productions, including video games.
According to an FAQ for SAG-AFTRA members, “commercial or videogame work is not covered by the strike.”
That includes motion- and performance-capture acting, according to SAG-AFTRA. Video game acting, alongside media such as commercials, talk shows, game shows, music videos, and audiobooks, are covered under separate contracts. For example, Elle Fanning or Norman Reedus recording face and performance capture for Death Stranding 2 during the strike is not scabbing, according to SAG-AFTRA rules.
Actors can also promote their work on video games. While this weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con will be a much weaker showing than convention-goers are used to, with major film and TV studios backing out as the actors strike, panels for video games don’t conflict with SAG-AFTRA’s rules about promoting projects. On Thursday, actors Yuri Lowenthal, Nadji Jeter, Laura Bailey, and Tony Todd will be at Insomniac Games’ panel to discuss their upcoming PlayStation 5 game, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. A panel on Peacock’s new streaming series based on Twisted Metal, however, will be absent the show’s stars, which include Anthony Mackie, Will Arnett, and Stephanie Beatriz.
For a rundown of what types of work are allowed under the strike, SAG-AFTRA has a handy PDF guide of projects covered under separate contracts.