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A war of words between ZA/UM and Disco Elysium Devs led to accusations of cheating and toxicity



The ongoing saga between Disco Elysium lead creatives and studio ZA/UM has taken another turn for the dramatic, with game director Robert Kurwitz and art director Alexander Rostov directly accusing their former company of fraud. ZDA/UM has denied these allegations and made some of its own, alleging that the former employees shirked their responsibilities, created a toxic work environment, engaged in verbal abuse and gender discrimination, and that the company Tried to sell intellectualism. Illegal property.

If this is all news to you, let’s try to catch you up without getting lost in the weeds. During October, Martin Luiga, an editor who worked on Disco Elysium, revealed that a war of words had slowly begun after some of the key creative minds responsible for the game left the studio “involuntarily”. Luiga later claimed that Kurwitz, Rostov, and writer Helen Hindpere were actually fired under false pretenses. Finally, we learned that Kurvitz had filed a lawsuit against ZA/UM in an Estonian court.

The latest situation is as follows. Kurwitz and Rostov have published an open letter on Medium To the fans of Disco Elysium, about the situation at ZA/UM, which alleged that Estonian businessmen Ilmar Komps and Tonis Howell (who became majority shareholders in ZA/UM after the release of Disco Elysium) used fraudulent means to take control of the company. Komps and Havel were previously minority shareholders, and their own company, Tutrek OU, acquired a controlling stake after buying shares from Margus Linmay, who had put up most of the capital for the project in the first place.

“We have now learned that Tutrek OÜ must have fraudulently gained control over Zom Studio OÜ. We believe that the money used by Tutrek OÜ to buy the majority of the stake was transferred to Zom Studio,” Kurvitz explained the situation. Money that belonged to the studio and all the shareholders but one was taken illegally from OU itself. Money that should have gone to make the sequel.”

There is much more to this matter, including many nuances, but we will proceed in the interest of brevity. In response, ZA/UM has issued its own statement GamesIndustry.bizWhile denying the allegations of fraud, and addressing the dismissal, stating that “we believe that ZA/UM will prevail in court after all the facts are heard, we believe that if only ZA’s proper defense If so, it’s important to address the baseless claims and lies. Protect /UM and our jobs.”

The studio gave its rationale for the dismissal, alleging that “their responsibilities and engagement in work were limited to almost two years of absence despite being paid by the studio,” and that they “contributed to the creation of found. A toxic work environment that is antithetical to ZA/UM culture and team productivity.” Finally, the company cited “misconduct in interactions with other coworkers including verbal abuse and gender discrimination,” and Attempts to illegally sell ZA/UM’s intellectual property to other gaming companies with the aim of undermining the rest of the team.”

It’s a lot to take in, and it looks like the situation is only going to get more complicated once the now-inevitable court case moves forward. We will monitor the situation and update you on any major developments. What do you think of Kurwitz and Rostov’s claims and ZA/UM’s allegations? Let us know in the comments section below.


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