Earlier this month, it was revealed that several members of the Disco Elysium development team had been forced out of the company. While all of the departures came as a disappointment to fans, the most shocking might have been Robert Kurvitz. Kurvitz is the original creator of the game's concepts and world, which he first came up with in 2005. Apparently the Estonian writer has not given up on the property, as Tech News Space is reporting that he has filed a lawsuit against developer ZA/UM. At this time, additional details are limited about the lawsuit.
Prior to the creation of Disco Elysium, Kurvitz released a novel in 2013 establishing the world and its concepts. The novel was a commercial failure, but Kurvitz decided to revisit it as a video game when he founded ZA/UM in 2016. Naturally, Kurvitz served as the game's lead writer and designer. When Disco Elysium released in 2019, the game was a huge critical success, with significant praise being heaped on its narrative; it won Best Narrative at The Game Awards 2019, and Outstanding Achievement in Story at the D.I.C.E. Awards.
At this time, it's unclear whether Kurvitz will be able to prove that he owns the rights to the Disco Elysium intellectual property, or if his creation of the 2013 novel might have any bearing in the case. For now, fans of the game will just have to see how this plays out, and what impact it might have on the future of Disco Elysium material. A sequel to the game is currently in development, and a streaming series is in the works from Amazon. There are certainly big plans to expand Disco Elysium as a brand, but it's hard to imagine how much success these projects will find given the absence of Kurvitz.
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