In something of a conclusion to our now five-part coverage of the messy legal spat between studio ZA/UM and some of the key creatives responsible for Disco Elysium, the developer has announced that several legal cases against it have been resolved.
For the sanity of this humble scribe, we won't recount every twist and turn of the torrid tale here (you can catch up on all the relevant lore in order, here, here, here, and here), but the crux of the matter is that key creatives Robert Kurvitz, Aleksander Rostov, and Helen Hindpere left studio ZA/UM under acrimonious circumstances.
The creatives accused ZA/UM of fraud, which the studio denied, and in turn, alleged the creatives hadn't been working "at all for almost two years while still being paid by the studio" and that they had contributed to "creating a toxic work environment that is antithetical to the ZA/UM culture and team productivity." There is also an ironic and complicated side narrative with various moneyed interests involved, but we digress.
Writer Kurvitz and artist Rostov each launched "unfair dismissal" cases against the studio which ZA/UM says have both been dropped, and a third, filed by former executive producer and marketing manager Kaur Kender (who alleged he was fired for asking questions of new management), has been resolved, all in the favour of the studio. Kurvitz and Rostov are said to have dropped their disputes due to a lack of evidence.
ZA/UM says it expects to "continue to address a series of baseless allegations from former employees who mounted a legal and PR campaign against [the studio]" and that it "expects more of their claims to fall apart under legal and factual scrutiny."
It remains to be seen whether there is a final chapter or even a sequel to this story, but we will dutifully inform you if and when there is. Is there some philosophical strand we can connect between one of the few exquisite examples of video games as literature and whatever all of *this* means? Exhale deeply in the comments section below.