The dispute between the creators of Disco Elysium and the majority shareholders of ZA/UM it just got more complicated now that the matter went to court. In case you still don’t know what happened, here is a handy summary of what happened to Helen Hindpere, Robert Kurvitz and Aleksander Rostov. To boil it all down, though: some of the creative minds behind Disco Elysium have reported behavior that they believe is illegal carried out by the current majority shareholder of ZA/UM, Ilmar Kompus, and some alleged accomplices, including businessman Tõnis Haavel. It should be noted that the latter has previously been convicted of fraud in a separate court case. Now an Estonian civil court is trying to clarify the situation, however it is not excluded that it could have criminal consequences.
The latest updates are provided by the editorial staff of PC Gamerwho translated an article of theEstonian Express. As reported by Robert Kurvitz, Aleksander Rostov and Kaur Kender, the latter executive producer and marketing manager of the role-playing game, four sketches attributable to the sequel to Disco Elysium would have been sold in 2021 to a third-party company for just over €1 (one pound to be exact). This company would be owned by Ilmar Kompus, who he would then sell the sketches again to ZA/UM for a steep payment of €4.8 million. Subsequently, the proceeds of the sale would be used by Kompus to acquire the shares of Margus Linnamäe, former majority shareholder of ZA/UM, and thus become the new main shareholder of the company.
Hence the accusation of the creators of Disco Elysium against Ilmar Kompus and his partner Tõnis Haavel, who would have used the funds of the same ZA / UM to buy the shares of Linnamäe and become the new owners of the company. However this operation should have been part of a much larger financial speculation since Kompus hoped to resell ZA/UM to third parties for a higher profit: Microsoft and Tencent are mentioned in particular, both initially interested in acquiring the Estonian studio. Apparently, however, Kompus and Haavel would not have come to terms with a small detail: Disco Elysium creator Robert Kurvitz has the right to veto any takeover attempt.
Meanwhile Kurvitz, Rostov and Kender had started to investigate the matter independently and had asked the new managers for explanations, but due to their insistence they would be fired from ZA/UM, however remaining minority shareholders of the company. Now Kender has asked and obtained the competent court to freeze the financial assets relating to ZA/UM owned by Illmar Kompus (shares to be clear), this because there are fears that Kompus could sell its shares and hide the proceeds of the sale in some tax haven. This provision will remain active until the matter is clarified.
On the other hand, the other two alleged offended parties, therefore Kurvitz and Rostov, they hypothesize that the matter may also be relevant on a criminal level. Therefore, the possibility cannot be ruled out that Ilmar Kompus and Tõnis Haavel will be liable personally and criminally for what has just been reported. Meanwhile, all the minority shareholders of ZA/UM, therefore also Kurvitz and Rostov but not Kompus, will meet to decide whether to file a separate civil lawsuit against Kompus itself.
There will certainly be other developments, so we will not hesitate to report any future news.