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WB changes heart: Shadow of War Forthog DLC is now free

Controversy and misinformation causes WB Games to cut sales of Forthog DLC
By: Derek Strickland | Gaming News | Posted: Sep 27, 2017 10:49 am

After lots of misinformation and a big controversy, Warner Bros is now buckling to community pressure and will offer the Forthog DLC, which commemorates a deceased developer at Monolith games, for free.

 

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The saga of Shadow of War's Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC is a contentious one. A bit ago Monolith Productions developer Michael Forgey passed away. WB Games and Monolith decided to do something special by immortalizing his memory as a character and sell the DLC for $4.99. Most of the proceeds would go to Forgey's mourning family in the form of a donation. However, users quickly found WB wouldn't give all the DLC proceeds to Forgey's family, and the PR department apparently sent out misinformation that only purchases in the US would count--and only those in certain states with certain laws (but now WB says they only promoted the promo in the US because of international laws, and always planned to donate proceeds to Forgey's family).

 

This inspired lots of pushback. Gamers accused WB Games of making a quick buck off of a deceased dev--a shameless move that dragged the publisher's, and Monolith Productions', reputations through the mud. Both companies were already damaged by Shadow of War's hotly debated lootboxes. Something needed to be done, and WB has now made the call to make the Forgoth DLC free and give a single one-off donation to Forgey's family. In the interest of transparency and to explain its actions, WB outlined why they opted for the DLC path in the first place. The WB Games rep says there was no ill-will conceived here and the DLC was made to immortalize their fallen comrade and help his surviving 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," WB Games community admin GypsyWB said.

 

"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."

 

WB Games had originally planned to donate $3.50 out of every $4.99 purchase of the DLC to Forgey's family, but now it will make a one-off donation of an undisclosed amount instead.

 

This shows that there's always two sides to every story, and one side may not have all the information. Better transparency would've ensured this didn't come to a head when it did, and it's unknown how much money could've been raised for Forgey's family with the Orc-Slayer DLC.

 

Here's the full statement made by the rep on behalf of Warner Bros. Games:

 

"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: " target="_blank" rel="nofollow">https://www.youcaring.com/michael-forgey-479259."

NEWS SOURCES:Community.wbgames.com

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