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Key members of Disco Elysium studio ZA/UM have left the company in an “involuntary” manner, it’s been claimed.
In a post to Medium titled “The Dissolution of the ZA/UM Cultural Association”, Martin Luiga, who served as an editor on the acclaimed Disco Elysium claimed that writer and designer Robert Kurvitz, writer Helen Hidnpere and lead art and design developer Aleksander Rostov have all left the company.
“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,” wrote Luiga.
Disco Elysium - The Final Cut (Announcement Trailer)
The post also announced the end of the ZA/UM Cultural Association. This collective was a distinct entity to the developer ZA/UM which would go on to develop Disco Elysium, although both the ZA/UM Cultural Association and developer ZA/UM shared much of the same personnel until now.
“I find that the organization was successful overall and most of the mistakes that were made were contingent, determined by the sociocultural conditions we were thrown into,” said Luiga.
“I still encourage people to organize, and I would say that one of the qualities that the ZA/UM cultural organization sorely lacked was pretty much any formal structure.”
This has caused concern for the planned sequel to Disco Elysium, which was in early development. Luiga claimed on Twitter that while the sequel may take a “shit ton of time,” that progress on the new game was “sweet enough.”
ZA/UM has given VGC the following statement:
“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. 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.”
Rostov has confirmed his departure from ZA/UM in a tweet which also seemingly confirms that Kurvitz and Hindpere have left the studio too.
Disco Elysium was released in 2019 and was met with incredible critical praise. It currently holds a 91 on the reviews aggregator Metacritic.
A definitive edition of the celebrated detective RPG—which won three prizes at the 2020 BAFTA Games Awards and two prizes at the 2020 Game Developers Choice Awards—hit PS4, PS5, PC and Mac in March 2021.