One of the founders of Disco Elysium studio ZA/UM has revealed the “involuntary” departure of three staff from the company in a blog post. Martin Luiga said that designer and founder Robert Kurvitz, writer Helen Hindpere, and art director Aleksander Rostov had ceased working for ZA/UM at the end of 2021. Luiga described their departure as “bad news for the loving fans that are waiting for the Disco sequel”.
The Medium post, titled The Dissolution Of The ZA/UM Cultural Association, was more than slightly cryptic, and didn’t explain what had led to the staff leaving ZA/UM. “The reason for dissolving the cultural organization is that it no longer represents the ethos it was founded on. People and ideas are meant to be eternal; organizations may well be temporary,” Luiga said.
“For a while, it was beautiful,” he continued. “My sincerest thanks to all that have rooted for us.” Rostov later tweeted to confirm that he, Hindpere and Kurvitz had indeed left ZA/UM.
In a statement issued to Eurogamer, ZA/UM addressed the departures. “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,” a ZA/UM spokesperson said. “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."
Alice Bee felt Disco Elysium was brilliant, but not without faults, in her review. “It's a great, bleak rumination on the failings of humanity on a macro and micro level. But not without hope,” she said. “A masterpiece, but flawed, and proof positive that if ZA/UM can do flawed masterpiece for their first outing, they might already be chipping away the flaws in time for their next.” Whatever ZA/UM are working on next, it sounds like it’ll be set in space.