Disco Elysium’s remaining devs were working on a spin-off that would’ve been the “most hardcore Disco since Disco” before ZA/UM layoffs


Following layoffs at ZA/UM earlier this year, some of the developers affected have provided some details about the Disco Elysium spin-off game they were busy working on prior to it being cancelled as part of them being let go. As with all of the Disco Elysium stuff we haven’t gotten since the orginal came out, it sounds very cool.

If you’re out of the loop, to say it’s been a turbulent time for those working at the studio since Harry and Kim arrived in our lives back in 2019 would be a bit of an understatement. Prior to this year they’re already been key figures in that first game’s development parting ways with the studio, and documentaries exploring just how messy the situation had gotten.

Now, in report from PC Gamer, a number of former staff at the studio have shed some light on what the project codenamed X7 was looking like before it was canned.

According to the devs, this spin-off set in the Elysium universe – not a sequel, by the way, as that idea had already been shelved after the departure of original Disco devs Robert Kurvitz, Aleksander Rostov, and Helen Hindpere back in 2021 – was “about one of the most beloved characters in Disco Elysium” and helmed by fellow original dev Argo Tuulik.

“It was something no one else but Argo could have done, and it would have been 110% authentic, most hardcore Disco since Disco,” former X7 lead writer Dora Klindžić said if it, adding the the game “would have advanced the story, the emotional threads, and gameplay elements all at once to truly evolve the genre of psychological RPG as Disco Elysium started it.”

“I feel like it was the best possible shot at a Disco-like game without [Kurvitz], Rostov, and other people that made the original Disco Elysium,” another ex-ZA/UM developer added. The reaction within the studio to an internal showcase of the game in late 2023 was reportedly pretty positive, with some believing it could help “reassure fans that ZA/UM is not a husk, that the IP is in safe hands and that the studio is full of talented people with a genuine love for the world of Revachol.”

Sadly, having begun development in 2022, and at a stage when it was looking like it might be ready for release in 2024 or 2025, X7 is now something we’ll more than likely never get to play. Which, naturally, sucks for both us fans and, much more importantly, the developers who were working on it.

If you’re now as bummed out by this news as I am, you might want to read this feature we put out on World Mental Health day last year, in which one of us discusses how some of Disco Elysium’s messages helped him overcome some problems affecting his life.

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