Crusader Kings III developer releases studio culture audit following harassment issues

In response the studio is updating its policies, training and more.

Crusader Kings III

Image via Paradox Interactive

Crusader Kings III developer Paradox Interactive has released an external audit report on its workplace culture and practices which reveals that the company has “clear problems.” Paradox enlisted Swedish investigation company Gender Balance, which specializes in discrimination, harassment, and equality issues to conduct a third-party audit. The developer released the external audit publicly online to show “complete transparency.”

The 2022 report follows last year’s reports of harassment and toxicity from the Swedish daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. Other previous allegations include Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester admitting in 2018 that an employee was subjected to inappropriate behavior.

“We believe that complete transparency is the best way to move forward and address the issues and behaviours that have been identified,” Paradox chief of staff Mattias Lilja said in an interview with Swedish news agency Direkt, with English translation provided by Eurogamer.

In response to the Gender Balance report, Paradox admits that managers weren’t well equipped to tackle some of the more “severe cases” when misconduct was identified. The audit highlights that women employees were “considerably more exposed” to these behaviors, which include unsolicited compliments or comments about their appearance.

“Many cases that should be relatively easy to manage are dismissed or not picked up at all, creating a climate that in practice tolerates misconduct to some extent,” Paradox said in a blog post. “Clear-cut discrimination has not been common during the past two years, but grey zone abusive behaviours are common enough to constitute recurring or significant work environment issues in many parts of the organization. There is a clear gendered pattern to this, with women being significantly more likely to be victimized as compared to men, although men also experience it.”

In response to the report, Paradox says that it is reviewing and updating its harassment and victimization policies, increasing training for all employees, and reinforcing managerial support structures.