Studio Disco Elysium declares legal battle ‘resolution’ as two of its ousted founders insist fight continues: ‘they won’t silence us’

On March 14, Eurogamer (opens in new tab) and (opens in new tab) reported on a press release from ZA/UM that declared the resolution of its legal dispute with Disco Elysium founding member and producer Kaur Kender, while also indicating that the wrongful termination process for Disco Elysium project leader, Robert Kurvitz, and lead artist Aleksander Rostov, was shelved for lack of evidence. Kurvitz and “Sander Taal” ( indicates this is a pseudonym used by Rostov) have since responded, stating that they will pursue legal action. Meanwhile, ZA/UM has released the first Disco Elysium content update since the December 2021 “Jamais Vu” patch.

The ZA/UM saga in brief

  • 2000’s: ZA/UM initially merged as an artist collective in Estonia.
  • 2013: Robert Kurvitz publishes Sacred and Terrible Air, a novel and the first commercial work set in the Elysium setting.
  • 2016: Disco Elysium’s first public reveal as “No Truce With the Furies” (archived on Reddit) due for release at EOY 2016. Producer Kaur Kender appears to have been involved from the earliest stages, with eventual investment from Tõnis Haavel and eventual CEO Ilmar Kompus. Around this time, ZA/UM becomes a formalized game developer.
  • 2019: Disco Elysium is released to critical acclaim.
  • March 2021: Disco Elysium: The Final Cut, a definitive edition of the game’s releases.
  • End of the year 2021: Project lead Kurvitz, lead artist Aleksander Rostov, and Final Cut lead writer/writer Helen Hindpere “involuntarily” leave the company.
  • October 2022: Disco Elysium editor and former ZA/UM member Martin Luiga reveals the trio’s departure, later confirmed by ZA/UM and a letter from Rostov co-signed by the other two.
  • Trio alleges wrongful eviction as well as misappropriation of €4.8 million from ZA/UM to buy a majority stake in the company by CEO/investor Kompus and fellow investor Haavel with the backing of Disco Elysium investor/producer Kaur Kender.
  • Kompus, via ZA/UM, alleges toxic management style, belittlement of female employees and other abuses by Kurvitz and Rostov. No specific incident or elaborate details, but (opens in new tab) cites an unknown number of anonymous sources to at least partially corroborate the narrative.
  • Kender sues Kompus and ZA/UM for embezzlement of €4.8 million, Kurvitz and Rostov file their own separate lawsuit against the company.
  • December 2022: Kender drops the lawsuit against ZA/UM, claiming the return of funds by Kompus, without explaining why he had the €4.8m in the first place.

This is the first public development in history since ZA/UM CEO Ilmar Kompus paid €4.8 million back to the company and Disco Elysium producer Kaur Kender dropped his own lawsuit against the developer. (opens in new tab). In ZA/UM’s initial press release this week, it claimed that Kender paid Kompus for its legal fees, and shared a seemingly contrite message from the writer and entrepreneur:

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