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Disco Elysium dev reveals some team members left "involuntarily"

UPDATE: Developer ZA/UM issues statement.

UPDATE 3/10/22: Disco Elysium developer ZA/UM has issued a statement today saying that the remaining team remains focused on the development of their next project, as those who departed the company confirm they are no longer working at the studio.

"Like any video game, the development of Disco Elysium was and still is a collective effort, with every team member's contribution essential and valued as part of a greater whole," a spokesperson for the developer said.

"At this time, we have no further comment to make other than the ZA/UM creative team's focus remains on the development of our next project, and we are excited to share more news on this with you all soon."

Meanwhile, on Twitter, a statement posted by Aleksander Rostov has confirmed the news that he, Robert Kurvitz and Helen Hindpere have all departed.


ORIGINAL STORY 2/10/22: One of the founding members of Disco Elysium studio ZA/UM has revealed that several members of the team have left, and "their leaving the company was involuntary".

In a succinct yet puzzling Medium post, Martin Luiga – a founding member of ZA/UM and seeming "secretary of the ZA/UM cultural association" – revealed that designer Robert Kurvitz, writer Helen Hindpere, and art director Aleksander Rostov haven't worked at the company "since the end of last year", "which would seem like bad news for the loving fans that are waiting for the Disco sequel", Luiga said.

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Here's the full content of the blog post:

"I, Martin Luiga, a founding member and Secretary of the ZA/UM cultural association, as well as the assembler of most of the core team, am hereby dissolving the ZA/UM cultural association (not to be confused with the ZA/UM company, on which subject I would note that neither Kurvitz, Hindpere nor Rostov are working there since the end of last year and their leaving the company was involuntary. Which would seem like bad news for the loving fans that are waiting for the Disco sequel)," Luiga wrote (thanks Nibel, via PC Gamer).

"The reason for dissolving the cultural organisation is that it no longer represents the ethos it was founded on," he added. "People and ideas are meant to be eternal; organisations may well be temporary.

"I find that the organisation was successful overall and most of the mistakes that were made were contingent, determined by the sociocultural conditions we were thrown into. I still encourage people to organise, and I would say that one of the qualities that the ZA/UM cultural organisation sorely lacked was pretty much any formal structure."

"For a while, it was beautiful. My sincerest thanks to all that have rooted for us."

The post is signed by Luiga, dated 1st October, and Luiga's location is recorded as "Tallinn Inpatient Treatment Centre of Psychiatry Clinic, Ward IX".

Although the post didn't accuse any one person for the problems at ZA/UM, in a subsequent comment, Luiga seems to implicate early investors.

We'll update you as and when we find out more about this story.

A recent job posting revealed that ZA/UM is looking for artists with "a love of sci-fi and video games" and the ability to create "non-earth environments".

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Vikki Blake

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When​ ​her friends​ ​were falling in love with soap stars, Vikki was falling in love with​ ​video games. She's a survival horror survivalist​ ​with a penchant for​ ​Yorkshire Tea, men dressed up as doctors and sweary words. She struggles to juggle a fair-to-middling Destiny/Halo addiction​ ​and her kill/death ratio is terrible.

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