Disco Elysium Adds Photo Mode To Distract From PR Disaster

A while back, I posted about the situation unfolding behind the scenes at ZA/UM, the studio behind the smash hit RPG Disco Elysium. TL;DR – the top creatives behind the game had been ousted by investors, allegedly for "intending to steal IP". Their IP, it should be noted – former studio head Robert Kurvitz had originated the world of Elysium and been building it for most of his adult life, and was perhaps the sole person most responsible for the game's success. Recently, however, a ZA/UM press release alleged that Kurvitz' lawsuit and those of his fellow fired creatives had been dropped.

This did not go over well with the game's fanbase, a large part of whom were attracted to it for its refreshing, more nuanced take on infinitely and frustratingly granular leftist politics. Kurvitz wrote from the heart as a self-professed communist who could do nothing as his own politics were commodified, diluted and repackaged by an unstoppable corporate machine to be more digestible, a perspective that resonated with thousands of other leftists, young and old… and one that they saw as vindicated in the face of ZA/UM undergoing a similar transformation outside of Kurvitz' control. Calls for boycotts have been circulating online, garnering thousands of likes and views in a matter of hours. For their part, Kurvitz and fellows have alleged right back that the claims that their suits have been withdrawn are untrue, and have vowed to keep fighting for what they've created.

In response to the veritable PR shitstorm the new ZA/UM finds itself in, it has… released something called 'Collage Mode' for Disco Elysium, essentially a spruced-up photo mode. Naturally, it does nothing to address the issue, but I think there's an apt metaphor to be had in the ability to puppet these beloved characters as you wish and put whatever words you want in their mouths. After all, if the moneymen who now run ZA/UM can do it, so can you!