Paradox Is Trying To Stop Hearts Of Iron IV Developer From Getting Deported

Sweden's Migration Agency rejected her work permit extension due to a previous employer error.

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Vachon Pugh, a game producer on the Hearts of Iron series, faces deportation in Sweden after one of her previous employers failed to pay fees associated with hiring an international worker. Paradox Interactive, the developer and publisher behind Hearts of Iron, is trying to prevent the deportation.

"I was very surprised and panicked. I contacted my manager and I was completely freaking out," Pugh said of a letter she received from the Swedish Migration Agency in an interview. "I knew it was a risk that it could happen, because when we applied for renewal they asked for additional information, but I thought we had taken care of it and done everything we needed to do."

Pugh moved to Sweden from Florida in 2018 and has been employed by two different companies while in abroad before joining Paradox. Her second employer failed to pay out all workplace and pension insurances during her trial period there. Swedish migrations laws had been changed in 2015 so those payments needed to be made during her trial working period meaning the "conditions for [her] previous work permit were not met," according to a letter sent to her by the Swedish Migration Agency.

Pugh is currently appealing the decision in Migration Court with support from Paradox.

"It's a personal tragedy, and it's a big loss for us," Paradox CEO Ebba Ljungerud said in an interview. "Vachon develops one of our most popular games. It's a difficult game to develop, and it's a very hard role to find senior people for. We as an employer are also a victim of this. Even if we're not at fault, and Vachon is not at fault, it still affects us."

Paradox Interactive, which is also the publisher of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, as well as the developer of Stellaris, announced that it would be signing a collective agreement with some of its employees labor unions last month.

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