Disco Elysium 2 In Trouble?

Disco Elysium 2 might be in trouble, as the ZA/UM cultural association has been disbanded.

By Jason Collins | Published

It would appear that Disco Elysium 2, a sequel to the non-traditional RPG from 2019, is in trouble, as the game’s developer ZA/UM Studio, has “involuntarily” removed several key figures that have worked on the game. ZA/UM is an independent gaming developer formed across several different studios in the UK and Europe, and its original Disco Elysium game shocked both the fans and the entire industry with its impeccable quality. Its sequel, though highly anticipated, is apparently in trouble.

According to IGN, the news about the development at the studio comes from Martin Luiga, a Secretary of the ZA/UM cultural association. He announced that the ZA/UM cultural association had been dissolved under his directive, as it no longer represents the ethos it was founded on. Additionally, he also disclosed the removal of Disco Elysium 2’s lead writer and designer, narrative writer, and lead artist from the company. He hasn’t provided any explanation for their removal/departure from the company.

Disco Elysium 2

At this point, it’s worth noting that the ZA/UM cultural association is an entirely different entity from the ZA/UM studio that developed the original Disco Elysium game. Luiga stated that the organization was successful, that most mistakes were contingent, and that the only fault was the lack of any formal structure. The lack of explanation prompted some to believe that the studio was dissolved behind the closed curtains by the investors, one of whom was the first person to be convicted for investment fraud in Estonia.  

However, despite the fact that the original Disco Elysium was funded by venture capitalists, Luiga has stated that the first game wouldn’t have happened without them in the first place. It was clear that all involved in the creation of Disco Elysium 2 and its prequel are incredibly talented, but the dissolution of the ZA/UM cultural association clearly means that the talent involved in the game won’t be working together, even outside the current project.

As for Disco Elysium 2, Luiga is confident that those remaining will be able to build upon the ruins of the now dissolved organization. Gaming fans, driven by experience, aren’t as optimistic and are currently asking major companies like Microsoft, which is already changing the history of gaming, to Sony, who is purchasing smaller studios left, right, and center, to fund the next game. Still, as per Luiga’s post, the sequel is where it needs to be in terms of development, which might take a while to complete.

The original Disco Elysium was released in 2019, and the Final Cut edition of the game was released in 2021. It received universal acclaim upon release for its narrative and art and won several awards, including GOTY, by several publications. In fact, considering how much the gaming industry is currently plagued with botched releases and re-runs of decade-old titles, it’s important to stress that Disco Elysium scored 10/10 across the board when it was first released. The game’s rating is currently in the lower 90th percentile, which only attests to its overall quality.

Disco Elysium 2 is still in development, despite the dissolution of the group responsible for the game. Unfortunately, there’s no precise release date for the game.