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Former employees were dismissed for “egregious behaviour,” according to the Disco Elysium studio

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It appears that Disco Elysium must now start and conclude each of my working days, which feels quite Disco Elysium. The studio that created Disco Elysium, ZA/UM, disclosed the reasons why a number of staff were let go last year in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz. These consist of “little to no engagement in their responsibilities,” “creating a toxic work environment,” “verbal abuse and gender discrimination,” as well as making an effort to sell ZA/intellectual UM’s property to other businesses.

The departure of game director Robert Kurvitz, art director Aleksander Rostov, and writer Helen Hindpere from ZA/UM before the end of 2021 was made public last month. The studio’s response mirrors, in more formal language, remarks made by ZA/current UM’s CEO Ilmar Kompus to the Estonian newspaper Estonian Ekspress as well as points made in a blog post by Martin Luiga, who was a former employee of ZA/UM and the initial source of information regarding the firings.

Although particular employees are not mentioned in the official statement, Kurvitz and minority shareholder Saandar Taal are mentioned in Kompus’s comments in the Ekspress article (as translated by Google), where he claims that they were “humiliating colleagues and intending to steal IP.”

Taal, who left her position as a director of ZAUM UK LTD in 2021, has not yet made an appearance in this narrative. According to Kompus, Taal and Kurvitz visited other video game firms “secretly and in breach of existing contracts” in order to gain ownership of intellectual property, including Disco Elysium. Disco Elysium’s setting is derived from a lengthy personal D&D campaign that Kurvitz later used as the basis for his novel Sacred And Terrible Air.

Additionally, according to Kompus, Kurvitz and Taal “treated their coworkers very terribly” and Kurvitz “had a history of belittling women and coworkers,” respectively. According to GI.biz, their own sources have made assertions that corroborate these charges. One unnamed source claimed that long-tenured employees were unwilling to criticize Kurvitz’s behavior.

In a statement published yesterday on Medium, Kurvitz and Rostov claimed that Kompus and fellow businessman Tnis Haavel had obtained control of ZA/UM through fraud with the aid of another shareholder, writer Kaur Kender (with whom Kurvitz had previously collaborated and who served as Disco’s executive producer).

According to ZA/response UM’s to GI.biz, “the vast majority of proceeds from Disco Elysium have been invested back into the studio in order to fund our next projects, which are now in development,” and “any charge of financial misconduct or fraud that is being held against us” are denied. Additionally, the studio admits that legal documents have been filed (Kurvtiz’s company Telomer filed last month to “get information and study documents”), but they are certain they “will succeed in court once all the facts are heard.”

Anyone might theoretically be saying the truth at the same time. According to sources cited by GI.biz and Ekspress, the conflict was between the business team and the artistic team, who weren’t as focused on making a profit, and was described as “CEO corporate maneuvering on one side, a poisonous auteur on the other.” The only thing I can be certain of is that I’ll eventually need to make another news post on all of this. On GamesIndustry.biz, you can read the complete statement from ZA/UM Studio.

As Editor here at GeekReply, I'm a big fan of all things Geeky. Most of my contributions to the site are technology related, but I'm also a big fan of video games. My genres of choice include RPGs, MMOs, Grand Strategy, and Simulation. If I'm not chasing after the latest gear on my MMO of choice, I'm here at GeekReply reporting on the latest in Geek culture.

Gaming

Raiden, the famous shmup series, will come back as a twin-stick shooter on PS5, PS4, and PC

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Raiden has a long and interesting history as a vertical shooter in arcades. However, the series is going to get a Super Stardust HD makeover, which means it will switch to a twin-stick format. It comes out in Japan on October 31. There’s no word yet on when it will come out in the West, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

A Gematsu translation of the game’s website says that the full version will have an arcade mode with up to six stages. There will also be an “Unlimited” option for people who want to be at the top of the rankings. It sounds like a pretty straightforward package in terms of what’s inside, but we think the action will be what makes it worth it.

There’s a trailer up top that should help you figure out what to expect. There are, however, different versions of Raiden 3, Raiden 4, and Raiden 5 that you can play right now on the PS5 and PS4, if you can’t wait for this game to come out in the West.

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Bandai Namco and Nike designed Tekken 8 sneakers with tag-team designs

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Nike, the maker of high-quality shoes, is working with Bandai Namco, the company that makes the Tekken series, to make a pair of sneakers. The fun competition is part of the franchise’s 30th anniversary celebrations. You can get your own pair for $250 or the equivalent in your country, though they’ll probably be worth a lot more on the sneakerhead black market.

Two pairs of Tekken 8 x Nike Air Foamposite One Fist sneakers are set to come out in September 2024, according to shoe fan Sole Retriever (thanks, VGC). The designs are based on Kazuya and Jin, two main characters in the series. You can get them at Nike and some other stores. People who like hypebeasts and fighting games are likely to buy these quickly, so if you like Tekken and shoes that make people talk, you should probably act fast.

Should Bandai Namco and Nike work together? What do you think? Are you going to fight for your own pair? Make sure to take good care of your shoes and keep their value in the comments section below.

 

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You can now preorder the official Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree strategy guide

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There will soon be a new book in Future Press’s Books of Knowledge series, which is FromSoftware’s officially licensed line of hardcover strategy guides. This will help players who are having trouble with Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree expansion. The base game came with two books, and now you can get the unholy trinity for $45 (or the equivalent amount in your currency). It will ship on September 30th.

Like the first two games, The Lands Between and Shards of Shattering, Shadow of the Erdtree is both a complete guide to how to play and a beautiful artbook with full-page pictures of enemies, landscapes, and weapons. This big book has 352 pages and is likely to sell out quickly, based on how quickly the ones that came before it did.

Do you know a lot about strategy guides? You could read the first two Books of Knowledge. If so, what did you think of them? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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