27 September 2017 - 21:30

Middle-earth: Shadow of War's charity DLC becomes free amid controversy

Originally, $3.50 from each purchase would go to the late developer's family.
Screengrab via WB Games/YouTube Fair Use

Middle-earth: Shadow of War's Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC kicked up some controversy earlier this month for being a paid charity DLC. Sold for $4.99, WB Games promised to donate $3.50 from each sale to the family of Mike "Forthog" Forgey, who passed during the game's development. Now, that DLC will be offered to players for free.

Concerns picked up around the Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC after the original announcement trailer's fine print revealed that donations would only be accepted within the U.S., and that purchases would be excluded for donations in multiple states across the U.S. This wasn't necessarily received well from players and critics alike, with Total Biscuit condemning the DLC as profiting off of a cancer patient's death.

Since then, WB Games and Monolith Studios have spoken out, clearing up extensive miscommunication and detailing their plan moving forward for the DLC. Ultimately, they have since decided to give the DLC away for free and refund any users who previously purchased the add-on.

WB Games and Monolith wanted to sell the Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC worldwide and then donate all proceeds to Forgey's family, according to community admin GypsyWB. To bypass certain charitable promotion laws in both U.S. states and international countries, the DLC was actively promoted in the U.S. with fine print on the bottom noting that donations could not be received from select states. Many believed Warner Bros. or Monolith would profit off the DLC in these situations.

Furthermore, an inaccurate Twitter post caused many to believe that purchases outside the U.S. would not go to Forgey's family, but would instead go to Warner Bros. So to alleviate the problem, Warner Bros. will make a donation to the Forgey family while hosting the DLC as a free offer.

"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," GypsyWB said. "We sincerely apologize to the fans and to the Forgey family for the confusion we created."

The official post encourages readers to donate to Forgey's family via a YouCaring fundraiser. Forthog Orc-Slayer launches alongside Middle-earth: Shadow of War on Oct. 10 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.


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