Disco Elysium has taken the gaming world by storm. All day on my Twitter feed it's constant: everyone from RPG enthusiasts to genre curmudgeons have fallen in love with ZA/UM's unique RPG for its clever writing, natural evolving story, and richly detailed and absorbing world. It is Warren Spector's once-spitballed "One City Block RPG" idea personified. Revachol isn't what I'd call a lovely place, but it's one you'll have a hard time parting with by its end.
But Disco Elysium is only available on PC right now, meaning console players are left out of the innovative action. It won't be the case for much longer though.
"[W]e are going to port the game to consoles so you can play on your PlayStation and Xbox. So, you know, that's my message to you guys for 2020," designer and writer Robert Kurvitz tells USgamer. "It plays really, really nicely on a controller because [...] you don't need to click around and give specific tactical commands, which the controller isn't very good at."
Despite being inspired by a lot of Infinity Engine RPGs, Disco Elysium plays often more like a visual novel. In every conversation, you are constantly having a back and forth with your inner thoughts—even your clothes in some cases—and the NPC in front of you. The dialogue options you get are determined by what skills you've leveled up. Walking around the environment, while with a mouse and keyboard does depend on clicking, doesn't feel like it's necessitated by clicking on the screen. In fact, an analog stick might even be a preferable way to navigate the grimy streets of Revachol.
The studio's keeping itself busy beyond just porting Disco Elysium for 2020 too. Kurvitz, whose journey to game development kicked off with his 2013 novel Sacred and Terrible Air, says the book will be published in English in 2020. "It's gonna be an English translation for a book that sort of started the whole thing; got us the chance to make this video game—proved that the world was interesting enough and novel enough and technically well done enough," he adds.
Kurvitz and Mikk Metsniit, head of publishing, marketing and communications at ZA/UM, also confirm that it's working on a Chinese localization of Disco Elysium. An art book with never-before-seen behind the scenes art is also in the works from the Disco Elysium team, as well as a formal release of the game's soundtrack. Two weeks out from Disco Elysium's release, Kurvitz says it's something fans have been asking for the most.
"Yeah, record companies, man; they drive a hard bargain," he says. "You know the stories that the boomer generation told us about record company execs and so on? They're true. But we're getting it sorted out, and we're getting a soundtrack out there. We think it's an amazing, beautiful soundtrack and people deserve to hear it."
As for what's next for studio ZA/UM aside from porting the RPG hit to consoles? Anything and everything, basically. "Of course—from there on, you know—sequel, world domination, expansion," Kurvitz says with a chuckle. If we weren't on a Skype call, I could almost imagine him taking a long draw on a cigarette after that half-joking, half-maybe serious comment; like lieutenant Kim Kitsuragi might at the end of a long day in Disco Elysium. And with how good Disco Elysium is, maybe the world is ZA/UM's to take. Stay tuned for our feature about how everyone's favorite podcast Chapo Trap House was roped into doing voice work for the game.