What started out as an idea with good intentions has left Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment in some hot water recently in terms of the Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC for the upcoming Middle-Earth: Shadow of War.
The DLC was designed in memory of Michael Forgey of Monolith Productions who passed away due to cancer during development of the game. After Forthog Orcslayer was introduced as a tribute, WBIE announced that they would be releasing him as DLC for $4.99 and with every purchase made in the U.S., WBIE would donate $3.50 to Forgey’s wife and children.
This attracted controversy as the DLC would be available in every territory where the game launched, only donations would be made from sales in 43 U.S. Sates and the District of Columbia because of legal obligations. While WBIE insisted that they would not take profit from sales in areas that could participate, people where (rightfully) skeptical. To make matters worst, WBIE stated “a factually incorrect tweet” from the social media team added to the confusion by stating that the money raised from sales internationally would not go to the family.
“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,” WBIE explained. “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.
In order to make things right Warner Bros. have announced that they will be releasing the Forthog Orcslayer DLC for free to all and will be making a donation to Forgey’s family directly.
“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,” WBIE added. “We sincerely apologize to the fans and to the Forgey family for the confusion we created.”
The DLC has now been removed from sale and if you were one of the ones who pre-ordered the DLC, you will be receiving a refund. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War releases on October 10th 2017.