Co-founder says trio has not been working at ZA/UM since last year, studio says development is still “a collective effort”
Three members of ZA/UM, the studio behind the acclaimed Disco Elysium, have been dismissed from the studio.
The news emerged via a Medium post by Martin Luiga, a co-founder and secretary of “the ZA/UM cultural association,” a group of creative people that is separate from the games studio of the same name. Luiga was an editor on Disco Elysium.
In the post, he reported that ZA/UM Studio founder and Disco Elysium designer Robert Kurvitz, writer Helen Hindpere, and art director Aleksander Rostov have not been working at the company “since the end of last year,” adding that “their leaving the company was involuntary.”
No further details on the reasons for their departure are given, but Rostov posted a tweet on behalf of the trio confirming that they are no longer at the studio.
A ZA/UM spokesperson told Eurogamer: “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.”
Luiga also announced the ZA/UM cultural association is now dissolved as it “no longer represents the ethos it was founded on.”
He said the organisation was “successful overall and most of the mistakes that were made were contingent, determined by the sociocultural conditions we were thrown into,” adding:
“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. For a while, it was beautiful. My sincerest thanks to all that have rooted for us.”