American acting union SAG-AFTRA has set a date for a video game performers' strike, after negotiations with developers failed to reach an agreement.

The guild has called for all relevant members - from voice actors to mo-cap artists to live actors - strike on October 21st, should a satisfactory deal not be reached.

Targeted companies include publishing giants like Activision, Take-Two, Electronic Arts, WB Games, as well as audio production companies that serve the games industry, like Blindlight (Destiny, Halo, Elder Scrolls), Formosa Interactive (Metal Gear, BioShock, The Old Republic), and VoiceWorks Productions (Dawn of War, Saints Row).

SAG-AFTRA will resume negotiations with those companies today, attempting to nail down a contract "rooted in industry standards and best practices."

"The video game employers we are striking continue to operate under the terms of an agreement structured more than twenty years ago for an Industry that was only beginning to utilize professional performances," wrote the guild.

"It is time for this now mature industry to pay and treat professional performers according to the standards and precedents that our union has established and defended for generations."

In response, lawyer Scott J. Witlin, representing several of the companies involved, said his firm is "deeply disappointed to learn today of the Union's threatened strike and its unilateral violation of the mutually agreed upon 'news black-out' on negotiation discussions."

"The Video Game Companies had already scheduled bargaining sessions this week [...] and will continue to attempt to reach a fair and equitable contract despite the Union leadership's most recent threatened labor action."

Negotiations have been ongoing for over a year, with the actors' union demanding residual compensation on highly-successful games, a limit on "stressful" vocal sessions, the presence of stunt coordinators in all motion capture sessions, and greater transparency regarding the requirements of roles.

In contrast, the games industry is asking for new rules governing actors and agents, according to information leaked in September 2015.

Those rules include the ability for publishers to fine actors over US$1,000 for being late or considered not to be fully engaged; the ability to fine SAG-AFTRA if an agent fails to send clients to every audition; and the ability to revoke agents' union affiliation should they do so.

The various parties involved have until the end of the week to reach an agreement before the strike begins.