Several lawsuits facing Disco Elysium studio ZA/UM have reportedly been resolved, with the company issuing a press release detailing the outcome of major complaints revealed in 2022. The turmoil at the company, which led to several high profile employee exits, began in October as studio founder Martin Luiga alleged several developers had been unlawfully fired after a hostile takeover.
Further allegations claimed businessmen Ilmar Kompus and Tõnis Haavel had initiated a fraudulent takeover of ZA/UM, which was followed by counter-claims that former employees had been dismissed for inspiring a culture of harassment, and ‘intending to steal IP’. Compounding matters, former employees Robert Kurvitz, Aleksander Rostov, and Kaur Kender also initiated legal action as they alleged unfair dismissal by ZA/UM.
After several months of pending lawsuits and mounting allegations, ZA/UM has now announced three major cases against the studio have been dismissed.
Per Eurogamer and GamesIndustry.biz, Kender has personally dropped claims of unfair dismissal, calling his decision ‘misguided’ and agreeing to pay legal costs associated with the lawsuit. Kurvitz and Rostov have also withdrawn allegations against Kompus and Haavel, citing a lack of evidence.
Another lawsuit, which alleged Kompus had spent €4.8 million of company funds to obtain a majority share in ZA/UM has also been resolved, with Kompus and shareholder Tütreke OÜ reportedly paying back this amount directly to the studio.
‘As this transaction shows, open discussions are the best way to clear up misunderstandings and differences, especially when it’s for the benefit of the team,’ Kompus said in a press release. ‘We’ve approached this with the collective interest of ZA/UM and our incredible team in mind, and we are glad to have reached a full resolution.’
ZA/UM has announced it will continue to address ‘a series of baseless allegations from former employees who mounted a legal and PR campaign against [the studio]’ in the coming months, as it works to repair its image. Expect to hear more from the company as it faces other pending lawsuits.