Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War is due out in a few weeks on October 10th, but leading up to the game, WBIE and Monolith Productions have gone the extra mile for a former developer. Michael “Forthog” Forgey was the Executive Producer of the game until he passed away during development in March 2016. In his honor, a DLC pack was created called “Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC” with a character made to look like him with an awesome mandolin ax. Originally the DLC was going to charge fans with a percentage of the funds going to his family but was only happening in the U.S. (and because of certain laws, excluded some states). Fans took umbrage with this, and after admitting it was not the right course of action, WBIE changed the DLC to be free to everyone and would be making a donation to his family on their own. Below is the trailer for the DLC and a new message that was included in the video.
“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.”