This press release published by Medium was not signed by Helen Hindpere, the screenwriter of the game, the third important member who left the studio after the change of shareholders. However, Robert Kurvitz and Aleksander Rostov stated that their dismissal was done without reason, and that the change of shareholders was concluded fraudulently. So the two partners attacked what they considered responsible for the court’s mistakes.
Here is a version we translated:
“To Disco Elysium fans, about the ZA/UM situation (by Robert Kurvitz and Aleksander Rostov)
We are Robert Kurvitz and Aleksander Rostov – the Game Director and Art Director of Disco Elysium. Our involvement in gaming takes the form of minority stakes in an Estonian company called Zaum Studio OÜ, which owns everything related to gaming. . In 2021, Linnamäe was taken over by another minority shareholder, an Estonian company Tütreke OÜ. Tütreke OÜ is owned by two Estonian businessmen – Ilmar Kompus and Tõnis Haavel.
As minority shareholders, our rights are limited. As long as Linnamäe remains the majority shareholder, we are confident that the company’s finances are in order and that all shareholders are treated equally. The same cannot be said for Kompus and Haavel. When they became the majority shareholders, we were quickly stopped from daily operations, our work was stopped, and our access to company information was cut off. Our dismissal came a few weeks after we started asking for documents and financial data, which are still kept from us.
We now know that Tütreke OÜ must have gained control of Zaum Studio OÜ fraudulently. We believe that the money used by Tütreke OÜ to buy most of the shares was illegally taken from Zaum Studio OÜ itself, money that belongs to the studio and all shareholders but is used for the benefit of only one. Money that should have been used for the fulfillment of the bond. We believe that these actions – which we and our lawyers believe constitute criminal acts punishable by three years in prison – were carried out by Ilmar Kompus and Tõnis Haavel with the support of Kaur Kender, another minority who is a shareholder. This is not surprising because Tõnis Haavel, who we believe to be the leader, was convicted of defrauding investors in another case in 2007.
We are exploring our legal options. Civil and criminal proceedings are considered – in Estonia and the UK.
It goes without saying that this time has been very difficult for us. After five years of hard work, we released Disco Elysium, a game loved by millions. As a reward, we were banished and cut off from our life’s work, the world of Elysium. The business we created was stolen, while our own income was not even enough for the legal expenses.
Right now, we are not talking. This is entirely voluntary, out of consideration for the people still working at ZA/UM – and for our own clarity. But given the seriousness of our suspicions – and the seriousness of the evidence we have – we think it’s about time people knew what was going on at the company.
We are eternally grateful to all the fans of Disco Elysium, who gave us important moral support. We still believe in sports, we still believe in ourselves, and we still believe in you. Millions of RPG fans have proven that games like Disco Elysium have a huge following. This is a wonderful thing. No one can get that from us.
We also believe in what Harrier du Bois called “the law”. He’s not perfect, but he’s there to protect the creators from the takers. And that is what he will do.
Robert Kurvitz – director of the play
Aleksander Rostov – artistic director”
It remains to be seen, and it is not clear, for what exact reasons the two former directors attacked the shareholders of ZA / UM, and why the British courts have jurisdiction to hear the dispute. Do they want to regain control of the board, return to their previous functions, or regain control of the intellectual property of the franchise? Detection of fraud in the courts is necessary at least exclude fraudsters from their current position, but the claims of Robert Kurvitz and Aleksander Rostov are currently unknown.
Also read | [News] Many “involuntary” departures within the Disco Elysium team at ZA/UM