Earlier this week, we brought you the news of the "involuntary" departure of key members of the studio ZA/UM, responsible for Disco Elyisum. Lead writer Robert Kurvitz, writer Helen Hindpere, and art and design lead Aleksander Rostov have not been working at ZA/UM "since the end of last year and their leaving the company was involuntary", according to Martin Luiga, an editor on Disco Elysium and founding member of ZA/UM, who broke the news in a post on Medium. ZA/UM issued a statement but did not comment directly on the matter.
In a new interview with GamePressure (which is fantastic, lengthy, and well worth a read) Luiga has claimed of the trio that "they were fired under false premises, and the entire ordeal has been very traumatising for both them and people close to them."
It's hard to say exactly how an involuntary departure and a firing under false premises differ, but Luiga goes on to say that "I am super worried, but I am still not disclosing all the information I have, and there is also information which I don't have, and I am rather sure that we will not have the full picture before the final judgement."
Kurvitz, Hindpere and Rostov confirmed their departure on Twitter, with zero fanfare, and the outpouring of sentiment in the comments below speaks to the impact Disco Elysium had on its players. As Luiga suggests, there is certainly more to this story than there would initially appear; it seems that those affected are bound by contractual agreements or NDAs. We will be sure to update you once we know more.
What do you make of this ongoing Disco Elysium drama? Ponder deep and melancholy thoughts in the comments section below.