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Disco Elysium exec producer drops lawsuit against ZA/UM majority shareholder

Kaur Kender was reportedly seeking damages from ZA/UM leadership after being fired earlier this year.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

December 8, 2022

2 Min Read
Disco Elysium artwork

Disco Elysium executive producer Kaur Kender has dropped a lawsuit filed against ZA/UM majority shareholder Tütreke OÜ.

According to a recent report in Estonian outlet ERR News, Kender was attempting to sue ZA/UM chief exec Ilmar Kompus after being fired earlier this year.

Kender was reportedly seeking damages of €913,000 from Kompus and fellow Disco Elysium executive producer Tõnis Haavel, who also own Tütreke OÜ. Now, however, Kender has seemingly withdrawn the lawsuit.

"The facts and the law led to this outcome. We are pleased that Kender and his attorneys have chosen to withdraw their lawsuit—one that should never have been filed in the first place. Their decision affirms there was no basis for their accusations and that I have acted appropriately and responsibly, as underscored by the corporate records I provided," said Kompus in a statement sent to Game Developer.

'This case was a fishing expedition and a legal vehicle for Kender to spread falsehoods about the Studio and its personnel, which others furthered with more speculation and lies. ZA/UM’s passionate team, which has relentlessly focused on video game creation as a radical art form, will keep doing what we do best— making great games."

This isn't the first lawsuit ZA/UM has had to contend with this year. Back in October, Disco Elysium lead designer Robert Kurvitz sued the studio on behalf of his company Telomer OÜ to "obtain and review documents."

That came after Kurvitz claimed he and other key Disco Elysium developers were forced out of the company by Kompus and Haavel. In a lengthy statement recounting their side of the story, Kurvitz said that he and Disco Elysium art director Aleksander Rostov were removed from their positions after Kompus and Haavel committed fraud to take control of ZA/UM.

Kurvitz and Rostov alleged that Kompus and Haavel used Tütreke OÜ to purchase a controlling stake in ZA/UM from previous majority stakeholder Margus Linnamäe—but claimed the funds used to do so were taken illegally from ZA/UM itself. Notably, the pair also claimed that Kompus and Haavel were supported by Kaur Kender.

"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," reads the statement, published in November.

"This is hardly surprising given that Tõnis Haavel, who we believe to be the ringleader, has been convicted for defrauding investors on a different matter in 2007. We are now in the process of reviewing our legal options."

At the same time Kurvitz and Rostov were breaking their silence, Kompus conducted an interview with the Estonian Ekspress to accuse ZA/UM leadership, including Kurvitz and former game director Saandar Taal, of mistreating colleagues and fostering a culture of mismanagement.

As a result, Kompus said that ZA/UM had no choice but to fire those offending employees.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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