Swedish games firm Paradox Interactive has said it will sign a collective bargaining agreement with trade unions.
In a press release, the strategy specialist said that it will work with Unionen and SACO trade unions, with Paradox staff now having a way of having a say on their pay, benefits and responsibilities. This applies to employees working at the company's Swedish locations, including its Stockholm headquarters, Paradox Arctic and its Malmö studio.
“Much like Paradox itself, the unions here have been growing massively in the past few years, gradually becoming more and more organised. This is a clear sign that our efforts have resulted in meaningful change. We’re very glad that the company agrees with us on the benefits of a collective agreement and that we’re signing this together,” Paradox programmer and Unionen rep Magne Skjæran said.
“With this agreement in place, we will be further empowered to advocate for our members here at Paradox, and contribute to making it the best place to work in the industry. We hope it will inspire people to organise in video game companies the world over.”
Paradox's chief human resources officer Marina Hedman added: “In the 20-plus years we’ve been in operation, Paradox has always been a growing company, but that growth has been especially dramatic in the last few years. An organisation of our size has different needs, and we must ensure that our employees continue to feel valued and empowered to shape our company, even as our structure shifts towards larger teams and projects. We’re proud, both as a Swedish company and as a member of the games industry, to add our name to the roster of companies who support unionisation.”
Collective bargaining has become a hot topic in the games industry, with developers growing tired of the long hours and working conditions that experience. Staff are frequently laid off by massive companies with no recourse. Telltale Games' implosion in 2018 left many developers without any income or health insurance.
US labour organisation AFL-CIO penned an open letter to game developers in February 2019 encouraging them to unionise. The country's trade body the Entertainment Software Association, meanwhile, wants nothing to do with developers unionising.