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Paradox QA staff allege poor treatment

Company's shutdown of publishing QA department last year leads to report of mismanagement, ignored concerns

A number of current and former Paradox Interactive employees have accused the publisher of poor treatment including low pay and mismanagement in a report published today by Rock Paper Shotgun.

The article revolves around the Crusader Kings company shutting down its Swedish publishing QA department last year so it could outsource those functions instead. Paradox employees told the site that news of the shutdown was not communicated adequately throughout the company, and that when staff were offered alternative roles, they were significantly worse ones.

"We often got overlooked and it was very, very obvious that QA was lowest down on the hierarchical ladder. It felt like we were dispensable, like they could just replace us," one QA employee told the site.

Some QA staff said they stuck with Paradox in the hopes of improving the company from within, but said the mechanisms given to employees to report problems were ineffective.

Those who tried to raise an issue through the proper channels were reportedly told to stop being negative or redirect them elsewhere. One was told by a senior staffer to drop a complaint rather than pushing it further up the chain out of fear that there would be repercussions that would hurt their entire team.

In regards to the closure of the QA department, Paradox HR manager Marina Hedman said, "When you do this kind of reorganization, when it affects people it's always tough, but by Swedish law, they are, of course, also very protected. We worked together with the unions through this transition to make sure that they were, of course, treated in the very best way." She added, "When we do these kinds of changes it is very important that we think through the communication - and we can do things that [are] not great as well, and we learn."

In June, Paradox signed a collective bargaining agreement with a pair of Swedish unions to represent its employees in the country.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.