SAG-AFTRA, a union representing voice actors and stunt performers, authorized a strike against game developers that began this morning. As part of the process, the union has published a list of projects that members are no longer allowed to work on, and it includes several unannounced games.
It wasn’t much of a shock to learn that EA Sports is already hard at work on Madden NFL 18 and NHL 18, but listings for Lego Marvel 2 and Brothers in Arms were a bit more surprising (though not unexpected). While WB Games has yet to make any noise about a new Lego Marvel game, Gearbox confirmed the existence of a fourth Brothers in Arms game last year.
A large number of mobile games also make up a large part of the list, as well as a few games that are denoted only by codenames. For example, Take-Two is working on something called “Alligator,” while EA is developing games under monikers as diverse as “Odin,” “Fearless,” “Scorpion,” and “Timbits.” We may never know what these codenames refer to (they may even belong to games that have already been released), but one of the union’s major demands is for developers to be more transparent during the hiring process and to use a game’s actual title when contracting with vocal/stunt performers.
Finally, several highly-anticipated 2017 titles will be affected by the strike including Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue, Injustice 2, and Crash Bandicoot Remastered. So hopefully the two sides can reach an equitable agreement soon.
UPDATE: A representative from WB Games has informed us that the inclusion of “Lego Marvel 2” in the SAG-AFTRA strike list is actually a reference to Lego Avengers, which was released earlier this year. However, Lego Avengers was announced in January 2015, several weeks before the union’s deadline for projects that must be part of the picket line.
I’m not sure why it was included on the list (it’s possible the union goofed), but the official line from WB Games is that “Lego Marvel 2” is definitely not a reference to “Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2” or any other unannounced game. That said, I’d be very surprised if WB Games isn’t working on another Lego Marvel game, and we’ll likely hear more about “Lego Marvel 2” in the future.