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Three lead Disco Elysium creatives confirm departure from developer ZA/UM

Claim their departure was ‘involuntary’ hasn’t been substantiated

artwork of Disco Elysium’s main characters, Kim Kitsuragi (left) and the ever-changing protagonist (right), lounging around a buggy Image: ZA/UM

Three key creatives behind the acclaimed noir role-playing game Disco Elysium have confirmed that they have left the game’s developer, ZA/UM.

Lead writer and designer Robert Kurvitz, art and design lead Aleksander Rostov, and writer Helen Hindpere made a brief statement on Rostov’s Twitter, saying simply: “We confirm that we are no longer at the studio.”

The trio moved to confirm their departure following a post on Medium by Martin Luiga, who worked on Disco Elysium as an editor. Luiga said that “neither Kurvitz, Hindpere nor Rostov are working there since the end of last year and their leaving the company was involuntary.” The three creatives did not back up the latter claim, nor say anything about the circumstances surrounding their departure.

For its part, ZA/UM provided a statement to IGN in response to Luiga’s post, seeking to highlight the group effort behind the game and its next project.

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.

There is speculation that ZA/UM’s next project will be a sequel to Disco Elysium. The developer is actively recruiting, mostly in the U.K.

Disco Elysium’s oil-painted artwork, eccentric characters, and strong philosophical and political themes earned it many plaudits, including Best Narrative, Best Independent Game and Best Role-Playing Game at the 2019 Game Awards.

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