Disco Elysium spin-off team opens up about ZA/UM’s cancellation of the project in February 2024 – News

Disco Elysium spin-off team opens up about ZA/UM’s cancellation of the project in February 2024 – News
Disco Elysium spin-off team opens up about ZA/UM’s cancellation of the project in February 2024 – News

Asked by Gamekult, ZA/UM used a whole series of euphemisms to confirm a “ restructuring », without further details. Among the members affected, we find Dora Klindžić and Argo Tuulik, one of the last authors of the original Disco Elysium team to remain within ZA/UM after the stormy departure of its co-founders Robert Kurvitz, Helen Hindpere and Aleksander Rostov in 2021. This duo launched the production of X7 in 2022, not an extension but a spin-off of Disco Elysium focused on ” one of his most popular characters » to the fans, in a spirit “ 110% authentic “.

The launch of the project in 2022, rushed in a week without a pre-production period, ushered in complicated development. Fears confirmed over the past months – firstly by the colossal mass of work that such a project represents in such a short time period, but also by several disruptive interventions from management – including Tõnis Haavel, producer and senior methods manager controversial. Haavel would have “ publicly humiliated Tuulik » in a forced apology exercise for his participation in the video investigation of the YouTube channel People Make Games – an investigation lasting several hours, rich in testimonies from certain members of the studio. Tuulik’s statements, tempered on the behavior of his former colleagues, but also critical of the studio’s leaders, would have earned him the disavowal of management. Other methods that are pernicious for the smooth running of development are also called into question. Totally decentralized without permanent offices, the ZA/UM team communicates exclusively via Slack messaging; a method which already complicates certain exchanges enough, and which would have been made worse by the arrival of a new “ project coordinator » by whom any communication from the duo of lead had to pass before being passed on to the rest of the team.

The last days of Disco

A lot of hope had been placed in the X7 project. Within the studio, its potential success would have had the effect of a “ redemption » to the public after the tumultuous events of past years. A way to show off, to prove that the developers remaining within ZA/UM were completely legitimate in exploring this universe. But despite a promising demo celebrated internally at the end of last year, the development of X7 was abruptly canceled in February 2024, and its team fired. A decision with reasons still unexplained by the management of ZA/UM; especially since the spin-off was one of the rare projects to be on track for a concrete release sometime in 2024 or 2025. As a reminder, there are now three projects that have been canceled by ZA/UM since the release of Disco Elysium : the spin-off X7, the sequel Y12, and the science fiction game P1 formerly directed by ex-producer Kaur Kender.

Difficult to imagine a sequel for ZA/UM, even though its manager Haavel ensured the team was spared from the difficult context that has hit the industry since 2021. The sudden expansion of studios in response to the market boom caused by the coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 has also affected the Estonian team, with serious consequences for its employees. Currently, only two projects are still in production, namely a mobile spin-off Disco Elysium of a smaller scale, and an RPG with a broader ambition. But for the latter, the end of its development is still far away. A whole sad situation well summed up by one of the employees still on the job: “ For a supposedly left-wing company, this is a real eye-opening moment. “.

-

-

PREV Errobiko Festibala and its artists on the path to metamorphosis from July 18 to 21
NEXT The Plage Sud shopping center rises from its ashes