Disco Elysium writer is suing developer ZA/UM

Disco Elysium protagonist
(Image credit: ZA/UM)

Earlier this month, Martin Luiga—Studio ZA/UM founding member and developer on one of PC Gamer's all-time favourites Disco Elysium—announced the "dissolution of the ZA/UM Cultural Association." He said that the company as a cultural project "no longer represents the ethos it was founded on," adding that artist Aleksander Rostov, and writers Helen Hindpere and Robert Kurvitz, left "involuntarily." In a follow-up interview, Luiga said that the three were "fired on false premises," implying that legal action against ZA/UM was incoming.

Now, as reported by TechNewsSpace, that does indeed seem to be the case. As seen on the Estonian Ministry of Justice site Riigi Teataja, writer Kurvitz has filed against ZA/UM on behalf of his own company, Telomer OÜ. 

The application is currently calling to "obtain information and review documents" from the Disco Elysium studio. It's not known exactly what the lawsuit entails right now, but could possibly be related to Luiga's earlier allegations of unfair dismissal. It could also be an attempt to regain the rights to Disco Elysium from shareholders, especially since Kurvitz has spent the better part of 10 years developing the Elysium universe.

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The whole thing seems to have been confirmed by Luiga, too. He posted a link to the TechNewsSpace story with a cheeky nod towards the game he helped create, simply writing "law-jaw." He also thanked a few fans in the replies, and when asked if any support could be offered he responded "I will let you know should such an opportunity arise." 

The first hearing will take place on November 28, when we can hopefully discover some more details of the lawsuit. The court case may also open the doors on what went down at the end of 2021. ZA/UM offered a very vague no-comment-comment at the beginning of the month, while Luiga has claimed he's under an NDA and unable to dive into the finer details. Rostov and Hindpere have also been mighty quiet alongside Kurvitz, though Luiga did say that he thinks "the three will continue making games."

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.