Reportedly a survey of employees conducted by the union in Paradox Interactive (last August) has caused a accusation against the company behind Crusader Kings. The reason? He is accused of creating a “culture of silence” around mistreatment and gender discrimination in the company.
The Swedish publication Breakit (as reported GamesIndustry.biz) reports almost half of those who responded to a survey conducted by a union felt that they had experienced “abuse” in the company. The definition of abuse in this context has not yet been publicly stated.
According to Breakit, 44% of the 133 people who participated In the survey, they responded that they had suffered abuse at Paradox. The report indicates that while women made up only about a quarter of the respondents, 69% of the female employees who participated said they had suffered abusive treatment during his tenure. Meanwhile, about a third of male employees also they said they had suffered mistreatment.
According to Breakit, the union concluded the report by saying: “Offensive treatment is a systematic and all-too-common problem at Paradox.”. The article goes on to say that company employees feel there is a “culture of silence” in the editor, and very few employees who had experienced abusive treatment felt that the problem had been properly handled and resolved at a later stage.
Following the news, Paradox issued a statement a Eurogamer in which he recognized that he was “aware of a survey conducted within the company” and that the results of said survey were “evidently not satisfactory”. You can read the full statement, next:
“We are aware of a survey carried out within the company on this subject, and of the results, which are obviously not satisfactory. The management team wants to ensure that this data is acted upon, but taking immediate and direct action is legally difficult due to the informal nature of the survey (And thanks to the results that were shared just before we underwent this CEO change, at which time we were very busy.) Actually we are working to reconcile the informal survey with our own internal research, and we are eager to take this action.
Paradox is now in the process of bring in a neutral external firm to carry out a thorough audit of our processes and a comprehensive employee survey. This will help us advance our efforts towards all the issues we have worked on to improve in recent years: harassment and abuse will be paramount among these, but we will also examine issues such as fair hiring and compensation, continued awareness of prejudice, inclusion and more. “.
The news of the report arrives only a few days after Paradox CEO Ebba Ljungerud resigned from the company. His resignation, Paradox said at the time, was due to different opinions about the company’s strategy going forward. Despite the short time between the two events, the publishing department’s communications department, Ljungerud herself and the new CEO of the company, Frederik Wester, deny that there is a connection between the two events.
The reported mistreatment of Paradox employees is the latest in a series of similar cases affecting the industry. Earlier this year, the California Department of Housing and Fair Employment filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard with allegations related to gender discrimination and a culture of “frat boy” in the company. The same agency has also been investigating the Results of a gender discrimination lawsuit at Riot Gameswhile Ubisoft Singapore has come under scrutiny when reports surfaced that it was being investigated by the country’s national watchdog for allegations of harassment.