The margins of the separation of several of the creators of the game Disco Elysium from the studio ZA/UM is not over and the parties have made new accusations against each other.
A war between several senior members of the game developer Disco Elysium with ZA/UM, his former studio It is not over now Robert Korwitzgame director and Alexander Rostov Art director of the work The former studio has been accused of fraud. On the other hand, ZA/UM studio has rejected the accusations and attributed some accusations to the other party; including shirking former members from their responsibilities, creating a toxic work environment, verbal abuse and gender discrimination, and trying to sell intellectual property of the studio illegally.
In October after that Martin Loiga, one of the editors of Disco Elysium announced that several creative members of the game had left the studio forcibly, a verbal war started between the two sides. Leviga later said that Korwitz, Rostov and Helen Hindperthe game’s author was fired for the wrong reasons, and then it was revealed that Kurowitz had filed a lawsuit against the studio.
Now Kurowitz and Rostov have published a public letter on the Medium platform addressed to fans of the game and about these problems, in which they claim Ilmar Campos And TunisiaThe senior shareholders of ZA/UM studio have taken control of the company after the release of the mentioned game using fraudulent methods. The two Estonian businessmen previously owned a minority stake in the studio, and Tütreke OÜ, their company, after buying the stake Margus Lynamythe entrepreneur who made the majority of the investment of the first project, has taken control of the shares of the studio.
“We have now discovered that Tütreke OÜ obtained control of Zaum Studio OÜ by fraud,” Kurwitz wrote about the controversy. We believe that the money used by this company to buy the majority of shares was illegally taken from the studio itself; The money that belonged to the studio and all the shareholders was used for the benefit of one person. The money that should have been used to make the game’s sequel.
Further, ZA/UM has sent its statement to the game industry media and denied the allegations of fraud and said: “We are sure that when all the facts are heard in court, ZA/UM will win.” We believe it is necessary to respond to baseless and false claims in order to defend the studio and protect employees.”
The studio also announced its reason for firing the employees: “non-interference in their responsibilities and duties, including not working for almost two years while being paid by the studio.” They were also involved in “creating a toxic work environment at odds with ZA/UM culture and studio productivity.” Ultimately, the studio said their actions included “misbehavior toward other colleagues, including verbal abuse and sexism” and “attempting to sell ZA/UM intellectual property to other game companies to undermine other team members.”
Unfortunately, this issue has become very complicated and it seems inevitable that this case will go to court. We have to wait for additional news and see what the outcome of this dispute will be.