Hearts of Iron producer Vachon Pugh faces deportation in Sweden, which would leave the game without a core member of the team.
The situation is unfortunate. Pugh moved to Sweden from Florida in 2018, and worked for two different companies while abroad before joining Paradox. Her second employer failed to pay out all workplace and pension insurances during her trial period there, which is where Pugh becomes unstuck. In 2015, Swedish migration laws were revised so that those payments needed to be made in her trial period. As a result, the “conditions for [her] previous work permit were not met,” says a letter sent to her by the Swedish Migration Agency.
Pugh was “surprised and panicked” when she read the letter. “I contacted my manager and I was completely freaking out,” she admitted 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.” Paradox is similarly shocked by the news, and expressed that it would be a “big loss” for the team. “It's a personal tragedy,” said Ebba Ljungerud, CEO of the company, 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.”
Right now, Pugh is appealing the decision in Migration Court in Sweden, and Paradox is supporting her.