Rebound: the creators of Disco Elysium will be fired for their management practices – Actu

It is the journalist Danielle Partis of the site Industry of Games that confirms it: the studio ZA / UM announced its own accusations against the designer and creative director of Disco Elysium. They would have been fired in 2021 due to gross misconduct in their conduct at the company, and especially their relationship with the development teams. He wrote:

“The studio alleges that the fired employees had little or no connection to their work, created a toxic work environment, behaved inappropriately toward other employees, including using verbal harassment and discrimination based on of gender, and also tried to illegally sell ZA / UM intellectual property. .”

The facts reported by sources in the Game Industry, but also by the current CEO of the studio, Ilmar Kompus, who confirmed to the Estonian newspaper Estonian Ekspress:

“They treat their co-workers well. Despite many exchanges on this topic, things did not improve. So the company was forced to fire them. Robert Kurvitz has been known to demean women and co-workers in the past, but the company didn’t know about it. It is too short-sighted of a growing international business to tolerate such behavior. “

“They even took the secret initiative and in violation of their contractual commitments to canvass other major video game studios to sell themselves and the game’s intellectual property. -to be angry said Ilmar Kompus, who spoke “delusions of grandeur”.

Their removal should be the truth of Kaur Kender, executive producer of Disco Elysiumtheir direct supervisor, before he leaves the studio for medical reasons a few months later, in August 2021. There are two conflicting visions within ZA/UM: the financiers who remain, and the creators led by Robert Kurvitz judging “Secondary income”.

Game Industry sources confirm the off this situation: “on one side the shenanigans of the CEO, on the other a toxic author”. The co-founder of the cultural association behind the studio, Martin Luiga, even openly testified to the Estonian newspaper: “I started drinking because of these strange working conditions. The work is organized in such a way that you would think it was meant for all of us to yell at each other, not to make a video game”.

One of the sources, Danielle Partis, seems to describe the situation more nuanced, however, with long-term employees reluctant to speak about the behavior of their former superiors, to whom they owe their jobs. New employees, for their part, are reluctant to discuss the subject because of their lack of knowledge of the file. We remember, however, that an employee spoke a month ago, saying that the departure of some employees does not mean the death of Disco Elysiumwith most of the developers from the first game still working on its sequel.

Here is a full translation of the ZA/UM press release provided by Games Industry:

“The ZA / UM studio today issued a statement in response to recent team layoffs that have sparked litigation and media coverage. The recent layoffs of some ZA / UM team members have resulted in complaints and inaccurate media coverage. While we are confident that ZA / UM will prevail in court when all the facts are heard, we believe it is necessary to respond to the baseless allegations and falsehoods, if just to protect ZA/UM and protect our employees.

Although ongoing litigation limits what we can share with the public, we believe that additional information will provide a more accurate picture given that our former employees have been reluctant to discuss important facts. journalists, blogs and other public platforms. For clarity and accuracy, we share the reasons for the justified terminations of some former team members of ZA/UM Studio:

● Limited or no commitment to their responsibilities and work – including not working for almost two years while still being paid by the studio – and forcing their colleagues to pay for their lack of effort.
● Creating a toxic work environment that is antithetical to ZA/UM culture and team productivity.
● Misbehavior in their interactions with other partners including verbal abuse and gender discrimination.
● Attempts to illegally sell ZA/UM intellectual property to other game companies in an effort to undermine the rest of the team.

ZA/UM will not and will not tolerate this gross misconduct, even from individuals who, along with the entire team, have contributed to a game we are proud of and continues to capture imaginations. all over the world. Besides creativity and innovation, ZA/UM also stands for professionalism, kindness, integrity and fairness, which we expect from all our employees. It would be short-sighted to accept anything less, because we need a tight team for the very collaborative process of making the game.

The rumor that our decision to terminate the contracts of these people was taken for financial reasons is completely baseless and does not in any way reflect the facts. It is a decision that must be made for the good of the collective. Furthermore, ZA/UM denies any allegations of financial malfeasance or fraud against it. The majority of Disco Elysium’s profits are reinvested in the studio to fund our future projects, which are currently in development.

We will not allow the actions and comments of some people to interfere with the important work of the studio. ZA/UM tripled in size last year and now has nearly 100 employees, while retaining most of the team that worked at Disco Elysium. We’ve built a passionate and creative team of surprising talent that continues to combine storytelling, art, and technology in our efforts to elevate video games and transform genres. We are excited to continue on this path with all the love and intelligence in our hearts and minds. We have a lot more to show you.”

Also read | [News] Two of the co-creators of Disco Elysium brought the majority shareholders of the ZA / UM studio to court

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