Disco Elysium game director Robert Kurvitz and art director Aleksander Rostov have revealed new details about the controversy surrounding the game and its studio ZA/UM. In a post on Medium, Kurvitz and Rostov have stated that they believe some level of fraud has happened between the shareholders for Zaum Studio.
According to the post, the duo owned a minority stake in Zaum Studio, with the majority originally being owned by investor and businessman Margus Linnamäe. Some time in 2021, Linnamäe’s shares were bought out by Estonian company Tütreke, which in turn is owned by Ilmar Kompus and Tõnis Haavel.
The post goes on to state that, with Linnamäe owning the majority of the stakes, the duo was comfortable with how the company’s financials were being handled. Once ownership transferred over to Tütreke, however, things seem to have started going wrong.
“As soon as they became majority shareholders, we were quickly excluded from daily operations, our employment was terminated and our access to the company’s information was shut off,” says the duo. “Our firing came weeks after we started asking for documents and financial data, which is still being kept from us.”
Haavel’s past conviction for defrauding investors has played a role in the current controversy.
“We believe the money used by Tütreke OÜ to buy the majority stake was taken illegally from Zaum Studio OÜ itself, money that belonged to the studio and all shareholders but was used for the benefit of one,” says the post. “Money that should have gone towards making the sequel. We believe that these actions — which in our view, and the view of our lawyers, amount to criminal wrongdoing punishable by up to three years imprisonment — were perpetrated by Ilmar Kompus and Tõnis Haavel with support from Kaur Kender, another minority shareholder.”
“This is hardly surprising given that Tõnis Haavel,” the duo continues, “who we believe to be the ringleader, has been convicted for defrauding investors on a different matter in 2007.”
This puts into new light Kurvitz’s recently-revealed lawsuit against ZA/UM, which was at the time revealed to be in its early stages.