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Disco Elysium developer alleges creative leads were "fired on false premises"

"The thing is, I love truth, beauty, and justice"

Core developers of Disco Elysium were allegedly "fired on false premises", according to Martin Luiga. Luiga, who worked on the game in its early days, made the comment in a new interview in which he also says that he believes "fans had a right to know" about the developers' departure from the studio.

Luiga last week revealed the "involuntary" departure of Disco Elysium designer Robert Kurvitz, writer Helen Hindpere and artist Aleksander Rostov from studio ZA/UM. Rostov tweeted a confirmation on behalf of the trio.

"It happened late last year. They were fired on false premises and the entire ordeal has been very traumatizing for both them and people close to them," said Luiga in a brief interview with GamePressure published today.

Cover image for YouTube videoDisco Elysium Is A Dream Detective Game | Disco Elysium Impressions

Luiga, who was part of the creation of the world of Elysium and who worked at the studio during its first year, said he was unsure whether he was under NDA with the company. "Anyhow, I am super worried, but I am still not disclosing all 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 judgment," he said.

On the subject of why he revealed the departures, Luiga said that "the fact that three prominent figures have been fired, while the fanbase would expect them to go on, is vital information, and it hadn't been held a complete secret either. The thing is, I love truth, beauty, and justice."

He later added that, "My position was that the fans had a right to know."

Since the departures became public knowledge this past weekend, some current employees at ZA/UM have received abuse and harassment from supposed fans of the game. In the interview, Luiga said that he thinks "it doesn't make sense to be offensive against the current workers of the company. It is unlikely to change their positions.

"The managers have a way of making people trust them. Robert [Kurvitz] and others had complete trust in them until it was too late," he said. "It pays to remain polite, even if it's hard – and I know that I have not been a very striking example at times."

Given Luiga's tangential relationship to the situation, it's unclear how credible his insight is, but he also said he did not think ZA/UM would "be devleoping the sequel" to Disco Elysium. He does, however, think that Kurvitz, Hindpere and Rostov will continue making games. "As for myself, I haven't decided the level of my involvement as of yet. Right now, it is mostly the phase of pondering ideas and managing our problems."

On Monday, ZA/UM released a statement highlighting the "collective effort" that produced Disco Elysium, and saying their creative team would remain focused on their next project.

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Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.