The future of Disco Elysium remains hazy after several key developers left ZA/UM. It has now been revealed that the game’s lead designer and writer Robert Kurvitz has filed a lawsuit against the studio.

Disco Elysium lead designer Robert Kurvitz files a lawsuit against ZA/UM

Robert Kurvitz, Image credit: GameSpot

What happened?

  • The information about the lawsuit appeared on the Estonian Ministry of Justice’s website Riigi Teataja, which publishes legislation and other documents (spotted by TechNewsSpace).
  • It was filed against ZA/UM Studio by Telomer OÜ. This company is owned by Robert Kurvitz, the Estonian novelist, musician, and one of the lead creators of Disco Elysium.
  • The hearing will take place on November 28, but the lawsuit’s content and other details remain undisclosed.

  • Martin Luiga, the founding member of the ZA/UM cultural association and the editor of Disco Elysium, shared a link to the news. When asked by a fan if there is anything they could do to support Kurvitz and others involved in the case, he said, “I will let you know should such an opportunity arise.”

  • Kurvitz hasn’t commented on the matter yet, so it is hard to say what his goal exactly is. He may want to get the IP rights from ZA/UM to make a potential Disco Elysium sequel, but that’s nothing more than speculation for now.

What preceded the lawsuit?

  • Earlier this month, Luiga wrote a blog post about his decision to dissolve the ZA/UM cultural association (not to be confused with the development studio of the same name). “It no longer represents the ethos it was founded on,” he noted.
  • Luiga also noted that three key developers of Disco Elysium — lead designer Robert Kurvitz, writer Helen Hindpere, and art director Aleksander Rostov — left the ZA/UM studio last year. They confirmed this information later.
  • Their departure is said to be “involuntary”. Luiga elaborated on this matter in an interview with GamePressure, saying that “they were fired on false premises and the entire ordeal has been very traumatizing for both them and people close to them.”
  • Luiga also seemed to throw shade at ZA/UM early investors, describing them as the ones who “take pains to manipulate dozens of people to steal, in the end, from themselves, just because they happen to be very proficient in that kind of an operation.”
  • Prior to this exodus, the original creators of Disco Elysium had plans to continue developing this universe. “Martinaise is just a slice of Revachol — and Revachol just a single capital among many others. Who knows where the future will take us?” Hindpere told GamingBolt last year.
  • “I’d like to do what Baldur’s Gate 2 did to Baldur’s Gate 1,” Kurvitz told GameSpot about the game’s potential sequel, adding that he also wanted to add more skill-based combat sections.