The highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto VI (GTA VI) may hit a significant roadblock in its development timeline, thanks to ongoing labour disputes in the broader entertainment industry. Spearheaded by the labour union SAG-AFTRA, these strikes have already affected TV and film production and now seem poised to impact the video game sector as well.
SAG-AFTRA is no stranger to organizing strikes, having previously disrupted the television and film industries. This time, the union has set its sights on the video gaming industry, with plans for a specialized strike currently pending approval. The gaming industry giants, including Activision, Electronic Arts, and Epic Games, who have contractual relationships with SAG-AFTRA, are likely to feel the impact.
Both parties are expected to return to the negotiating table on September 26. The labour union has clear objectives for these talks: secure salary hikes for game performers and safeguard their roles against the growing influence of artificial intelligence, especially in voice acting. The union’s specific demands include an initial 11% pay increase, followed by two 4% increases, as well as added protections such as scheduled rest periods.
Given its high development costs, Grand Theft Auto VI is one of the most expensive games in production, although it is expected to yield substantial profits upon release. However, the game’s release date remains a mystery. Rockstar Games, known for their reliance on performance elements in their titles, could see their development timeline for GTA VI affected depending on the outcome of the union negotiations.
While gamers will undoubtedly sympathize with industry professionals fighting for fair wages and better working conditions, the possible delays in game releases, particularly for blockbuster titles like GTA VI, may cause concern. Until there is official confirmation from Rockstar Games or its publisher Take-Two Interactive, the development of GTA VI is assumed to be proceeding as planned, albeit with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over it.
Stay tuned for more updates as the situation unfolds.