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ZA/UM resolves legal dispute with Disco Elysium producer Kaur Kender

Update, Thursday, March 23: ZA/UM studio has issued a reply to Robert Kurvitz’s and Sander Taals’ comments.

The Disco Elysium maker reiterated that Kender admitted that the lawsuit was misguided on his part. It said, “In addition, as part of a court order, he also paid the legal fees for CEO Ilmar Kompus, who had to respond to that now-withdrawn claim.”

ZA/UM adds, “Using details like ‘looting,’ ‘stolen money,’ and ‘crime’ make for riveting reading but are far from reality. The actual harm to the studio is not from some fictional ‘looting,’ but rather from Mr. Kurvitz and Mr. Taal, while employed by the studio, refusing to do their jobs, creating a toxic workplace, demeaning colleagues, and attempting to misappropriate Studio IP.”

Additionally, the studio explained that Kurvitz and Taal are welcome to challenge these facts in court.

Update, Thursday, March 16: Robert Kurvitz and Sander Taal have issued a response to ZA/UM legal dispute and have described the matter as “deeply misleading” as a directly concerned party.

In a statement sent to, Kurvitz and Taal (the latter being an alias for Aleksander Rostov, according to ZA/UM) said the press release is false in multiple areas. The pair maintain they are the remaining minority shareholders of the studio.

The developers explained, “The press release implies that our employment claims against the studio were withdrawn for lack of evidence. They were not. We see our dismissal as part of a larger campaign against us and will pursue legal options accordingly.”

The statement adds that they disagreed with Kender admitting the lawsuit he withdrew in December 2022 was misguided.

“Kender’s lawsuit was based on the misuse of ZA/UM’s funds (€4.8 million) by the majority shareholders [Ilmar Kompus and Tõnis Haavel] to increase their own stake in the company. In the press release, Kompus and Haavel admit to this misuse, arguing only that the money has been ‘paid back to ZA/UM,’ ” the duo explained.

“Paying back stolen money, however, does not undo the crime; here, it does not undo the majority that Kompus and Haavel have illegally gained in ZA/UM.”

Additionally, they described that, unlike Kender, they will not be silenced in this ongoing legal dispute.

“Unlike Kender, we have not participated in the looting of ZA/UM, and Kompus and Haavel have no power over us.”

Original Story, Tuesday, March 14: The ongoing legal dispute between Disco Elysium studio ZA/UM and the game’s producer Kaur Kender has been resolved.

ZA/UM studio has announced that ex-staffer Kender has repaid all debts owed to it.

Also, per a court order, Kender has repaid CEO Ilmar Kompus for legal fees from a lawsuit that was eventually withdrawn back in December. Additionally, he’s divested all his shares in the games company.

“I am thankful for the years of trust and cooperation with the team, which made Disco Elysium a successful project,” said Kender. “After leaving my full-time role, I filed a lawsuit which I realized, after seeing the facts, was misguided.”

The news comes after a series of claims surfaced against the Disco Elysium maker from Kender, and ZA/UM shareholders emerged towards the tail end of 2022.

In October 2022, it was reported that three key creators, Helen Hindpere, Robert Kurvitz, and Aleksander Rostov, left the company “involuntarily.”

ZA/UM Studio says both Kurvitz and Rostov have dropped their “unfair dismissal” claims due to lack of evidence.

However, the company says it continues to face a “series of baseless allegations from former employees” and expects more claims to “fall apart under legal and factual scrutiny.”

Later in the month, a lawsuit was filed against the studio by Telomer, a company that included Kurvitz – author of the Disco Elysium novel and designer of the game – as a board member.

In November 2022, a lawsuit filing alleged that Kompus spent €4.8 million ($5.1 million) in company funds to obtain a majority share of the studio.

Following Kender’s suit withdrawal against Tütreke, the ZA/UM’s majority shareholder, Kompus and Tütreke paid €4.8 million ($5.1 million) back to ZA/UM.

“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,” said Kompus.

“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.”

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