Disco Elysium Lawsuit Writer Robert Kurvitz

Disco Elysium writer Robert Kurvitz files lawsuit against ZA/UM

The situation at ZA/UM is escalating.

Robert Kurvitz, a former Disco Elysium writer is filing a lawsuit against developer ZA/UM on behalf of his own company, Telomer OÜ. We don’t currently know the specifics of the lawsuit, but it is understood that Telomer OÜ is requesting to obtain information and review documents from ZA/UM.

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Despite not knowing the specifics, we can take a reasonable guess at what triggered this. Earlier this month the ZA/UM Cultural Association was dissolved with multiple employees being released in the process. It is understood that Kurvitz’s alongside writer Helen Hindpere’s and art director Alexander Rostov’s removal from ZA/UM was “involuntary.”

 

Another founding member of ZA/UM, Martin Luiga, provided some further insight on Medium. Here Luiga claims that investors played a role in the removal of these talents as they disagreed with certain monetization proposals.

Given what we know, it seems likely that this lawsuit against the Disco Elysium developer is related to these events. It’s possible that Kurvitz’s lawsuit is due to unfair dismissal. Unfair dismissal refers to cases where a company fires an employee without having a valid reason for doing so. Some examples of this include getting fired for whistleblowing, joining a union, asking for flexible work hours, or being on parental leave.

What about Disco Elysium 2?

Although it hasn’t been officially announced, there were rumors of a Disco Elysium sequel long before this lawsuit. The original game achieved an incredible 97% Metascore on Metacritic as well as ‘Very Positive’ reviews on Steam. It’s one of the best-received games made.

A large part of its success was ZA/UM’s writing team, with Robert Kurvitz leading it. With Kurvitz and the others now gone, it does raise concerns over what a sequel could look like. And if this split was triggered by a disagreement over monetization practices, what monetization do ZA/UM’s investors have in mind? We’ve seen overly aggressive monetization models kill franchises in the past, and Disco Elysium could be at risk too.

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Kurt Perry
Kurt is a passionate games writer who loves JRPGs, racing games, and FPS. Having grown up on Xbox, Kurt transitioned to PC gaming in 2017 but still enjoys playing a variety of platforms.