A few weeks ago, Monolith Productions and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced the release of the Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC for Middle-Earth: Shadow of War to honor Mike “Forthog” Forgey, who was the game’s Executive Producer and passed away during development.
The original plan involved the donation of the proceeds from the DLC’s sale to Forgey’s family, but the original announcement mentioned only the United States, and also excluded a few states. This caused no small measure of discussion among the fans, who wondered where the money from the states excluded from the promotion would go, alongside the funds coming from outside of the United States.
According to a statement made today by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, this was a result of poor choices in communicating the terms of the deal in order to comply with local regulations on charitable donations. The publisher recognizes that donating the sales of a DLC wasn’t the best way of achieving the goal of offering financial support to Forgey’s family, so changes have been made.
The DLC has been changed from paid to free for everyone who will purchase the game, and the publisher will instead make a donation directly to the Forgey family.
Below you can find the find the new version of the trailer showcasing the DLC, and the full message:
“The Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC was created by the team at Monolith Productions to immortalize Michael Forgey, a dear friend and colleague, and to raise funds to help support his widow and children.
Specifically, we decided to sell the DLC worldwide and donate all profits from the DLC to the family. Although we decided to donate all profits to the family, we only planned to actively promote this donation in the U.S. (excluding certain states based on their charitable promotion laws). We hoped this approach would raise as much money as possible for the Forgey family in compliance with the law. 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.
Additionally, a factually incorrect tweet from our team exacerbated the confusion by stating that international funds would not be going to the family. For absolute clarity; our intention was always to give all profits from the DLC, worldwide to the Forgey family.
We now recognize that tying our donation to sales of the DLC was not the best way to achieve our goal of offering financial support to the family and creating a lasting memorial to Michael Forgey. We sincerely apologize to the fans and to the Forgey family for the confusion we created.
To ensure the two original aims are still met and to provide transparency to the community, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will instead make a donation directly to the Forgey family. The DLC will be withdrawn from sale and will be a free download for owners of Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Anyone who has purchased the DLC will receive a full refund. If there is interest in donating directly to the family, please visit their youcaring site.”
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War will release for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 10th.