disco elysium 2 fallout za/um

A new report details the turmoil around scrapped Disco Elysium follow-up

What will never be.

A recent report by PC Gamer has revealed more about the tumultuous climate at Disco Elysium developer ZA/UM. Featuring interviews with current and past employees at the company, it’s been revealed that a stand-alone expansion for Disco Elysium was well into development when it was canceled, and much of the team was laid off.

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Disco Elysium was released in 2019 to wide acclaim, and it seemed like fertile ground for ZA/UM to develop a series around. However, in 2022, three of the lead developers on the team, Robert Kurvitz, Aleksander Rostov, and Helen Hindpere, departed. Reports on these departures are conflicting, with Kurvitz and Rostov accusing the management of financial malfeasance, while official statements from the company say that they were fired for misconduct.

Business continued as usual for the staff at ZA/UM, with many wishing to prove that they could build on Disco Elysium in a way that stayed true to the original game.

According to the report from PC Gamer, the canceled expansion was being created under Disco Elysium writer Argo Tuulik and another writer named Dora Klindžić. The two say they were made to pitch the expansion to management under extraneous circumstances. It was greenlit, but they were then pushed directly into production. According to Dora Klindžić, “We were set up to fail from the start.”

Even with all the challenges thrown at them, at the end of 2023, the team had created an internal demo of the expansion that was reportedly well-received. “Its internal announcement lifted a lot of spirits after a rough time of bad press around the studio,” a member of the studio told PC Gamer.

Despite this, in February 2024, the project was canceled, and a quarter of the staff was laid off.

According to reporting, ZA/UM seems to still have two projects still in development, with one being “a smaller-scale Elysium game targeting touchscreen devices.” However, it’s difficult to imagine anything coming to fruition in an environment such as that.

You can read the full report over on PC Gamer.

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Zoey Handley
Staff Writer - Zoey is a gaming gadabout. She got her start blogging with the community in 2018 and hit the front page soon after. Normally found exploring indie experiments and retro libraries, she does her best to remain chronically uncool.