Earlier this month WB Games and Monolith announced a DLC pack
for the upcoming Middle-Earth: Shadow of War that would honor the tragic passing of one of the developers, Michael Forgey. But it turned out that only a portion of the sales would go to the family, and only those made in the U.S. Naturally this caused a bit of controversy, so today the publisher has announced that the DLC will instead be free.
Via the following statement
. Which, does sound sincere.
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 The DLC will be withdrawn from sale and will be a free download for owners of Middle-earth: Shadow of War.
And really a direct donation from the publisher to the family would have made a better headline. So the original motives seem unnecessarily complicated. Plus, there's still the issue about pay-to-win Loot Boxes in the game.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is out October 10 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.