The battle for Disco Elysium’s soul explodes with new allegations, and is heading to court


In October, the news broke that key creatives behind Disco Elysium had left Studio ZA/UM last year. A few days later, founding member of ZA/UM Martin Luiga alleged they had been “fired on false premises”. Studio ZA/UM issued a statement about the “collective effort” of game development without substantially commenting on the news, and we were left uncertain as to what transpired at the studio and what to expect from it going forward. Today, the story exploded with surprising allegations from both sides.

Robert Kurvitz and Aleksander Rostov, the fired Disco Elysium game director and art director, have published an open letter (opens in new tab) which alleges that ZA/UM’s current owners took over the company illegitimately before kicking them out. The letter appears to have been prompted by a report in an Estonian newspaper which alleges that the pair of creatives were toxic leaders who were fired for ignoring responsibilities and mistreating colleagues. That news report, which quotes Studio ZA/UM’s current CEO, was followed by an official statement from the studio which reiterates its claims.