Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment has decided to make Middle Earth: Shadow of War’s Forthog Orcslayer DLC content free.
The late Michael Forgey was the exectuive producer of Middle Earth: Shadow of War, but unfortunately died of cancer while working on the game. Developers decided to honor him by creating a DLC for the game, which was a character “Forthog Orcslayer” with Forgey’s likeness. Warner Bros. said they would donate “$3.50 from every purchase of Forthog Orcslayer from now up until the very end of 2019” to Forgey’s family.
Although Warner Bros.’ actions seemed thoughtful to Forgey and his family, many felt that the way the company released the DLC did not coincide with thoughts of generosity. Controversy arose when fans realized Warner Bros. would sell the DLC for $4.99 and donate $3.50, but some fans wouldn’t have their distribution given as a donation at all since “only donations would be made from sales in 43 U.S. states and the District of Columbia because of legal obligations.” International buyers were also concerned with where their money would go since Warner Bros. did not announce that international sales would count towards donations. In an official statement on the Middle Earth: Shadow of War website, Warner Bros. states their reason for not counting all sales from purchasing the DLC.
“Our decision not to promote the donation outside the U.S. (even though we intended to donate the money) caused many to question where funds from other territories were going. Answering that direct question itself could have triggered compliance obligations or put us in violation of cause marketing laws in some of the 241 territories in which the content was available.”
This left fans wondering what the company would do with the money, in addition to why the full $4.99 wouldn’t be given to the family in the first place. In order to make their intentions to support Forgey’s family clearer, Warner Bros. apologized and decided they would stop selling the DLC. Instead, they will offer the DLC for free, refund fans who already purchased it and make a direct donation to the Forgey family.
If fans still want to make their own donations to the family, they can do so via the youcaring website.