Key members of the Disco Elysium development team have apparently been forced to leave the studio. According to a Medium blog post from ZA/UM's Martin Lugia, developers Robert Kurvitz, Aleksander Rostov and Helen Hindpere haven't been with the team "since the end of last year and their leaving the company was involuntary." While ZA/UM still exists, it's now missing the core members that made the game so successful. According to Lugia, the departures "would seem like bad news for the loving fans that are waiting for the Disco sequel." Lugia's post says that the departures represent the dissolution of what he calls the "ZA/UM cultural association."
"The reason for dissolving the cultural organization is that it no longer represents the ethos it was founded on.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. I find that the organization was successful overall and most of the mistakes that were made were contingent, determined by the sociocultural conditions we were thrown into," Lugia writes.
All of the departures are troubling news for fans of the first game, but Kurvitz in particular is the originator of the Disco Elysium concept and world; the Estonian writer first came up with the concept back in 2005, when he originally conceived it as an idea for a novel. The novel did see release in 2013, but it was a failure. The game's themes and setting found much greater success as a video game, and when it released in 2019, it was met with strong critical acclaim.
Besides the upcoming sequel, an Amazon series based on Disco Elysium was announced back in January 2020. Now it seems that both projects will be finished without the input of key members of the team. The whole situation is disappointing to say the least, and it remains to be seen how the projects will turn out without their input. For now, readers interested in Disco Elysium can check out all of our previous coverage of the game right here.
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