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'Disco Elysium' video game made nearly €7 million profit in first 6 months

Screenshot from
Screenshot from "Disco Elysium" gameplay. Source: ZA/UM press materials

Sales of a popular video game have netted its creators a profit of €6.7 million in the first six months after it was released. The company, ZA/UM Studio OÜ, whose shareholders include well-known names in the Estonian media sphere, had previously made a loss.

The game, "Disco Elysium", has enjoyed major commercial success and acclaim, both domestically and internationally, and has been dubbed Estonia's most successful video game to date.

ZA/UM Studio released "Disco Elysium" in October 2019, while the company saw a turnover of €13.1 million in the financial year from May 2019 to the end of April 2020.

During the first six months of "Disco Elysium"'s existence, ZA/UM posted a profit of €6.7 million as noted, whereas in the preceding 16 months, the company had made a loss of €617,246.

ERR reports that a majority stake in the company which had belonged to the MM Grupp, whose owner is Margus Linnamäe and whose subsidiaries include the Postimees media group, had been sold, making the largest current shareholder Tütreke OÜ, with a one-third holding. Tütreke belongs to Ilmar Kompus, one of whose companies purchased news wire service BNS in 2014.

Other significant (close to 10 percent holdings) shareholders include writer Kaur Kender, animated filmmaker Sander Taal and video games designer and ZA/UM co-founder Robert Kurvitz

ERR reports that ZA/UM will not distribute dividends for the preceding financial year, and will reinvest all earned profit into business expansion.

According to Invest in Estonia, no corporate income tax inheres on on retained and reinvested profits (compared with a 14-20 percent tax on distributed profits).

The company says it will continue to develop "Disco Elysium" and boost its availability globally.

"Disco Elysium" is a Role Playing Game (RPG) and was reported to have likely already broken even on its release. The game picked up awards in four categories at 2020's Game Awards in Los Angeles, adding another three to that total at the BAFTA games awards in the U.K., at a ceremony hosted remotely by Irish comic and video games buff Dara O'Briain.

Most recently, media reports state that the game will be made into a TV show, while Kurvitz and co-creator Aleksander Rostov were presented with the annual President's Young Cultural Figure award for 2020, here in Estonia.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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