Warner Bros. has insisted it will not make money from the sale of Shadow of War's Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC after the company was accused of profiting from the death of a Monolith developer.
Last week we reported on Monolith executive producer Michael Forgey, who died from a brain tumour last year aged just 43-years-old. Forgey appears in the upcoming action game Shadow of War as DLC character Forthog Orc-Slayer.
Warner Bros. is selling the Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC for £3.99 / $4.99, and had said it would donate $3.50 of every purchase to the Forgey family through 31st December 2019.
However, small print in the trailer for the DLC revealed WB Games would only donate money to the Forgey family from purchases of the Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC made from most of the states in the US, thus excluding countries outside the US. The small print suggested if you're in Europe and you buy the DLC, none of the money would go to the Forgey family.
This detail, buried as it was at the end of a trailer and in a YouTube video description, led to some to accuse Warner Bros. of at best a failure of communication, at worst profiting off of the death of an employee.
We followed up with Warner Bros. to ask for an explanation, and it sent over the following statement to Eurogamer tonight:
"Neither Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment nor Monolith Productions will profit from any sales of the Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC regardless of the territory in which that DLC is sold."
Now, this statement, while frustrating in its lack of clarity, does suggest that no matter which territory you buy the Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC from, Warner Bros. will make its $3.50 donation.
Throughout the entire PR debacle, Monolith was praised for its heart-warming gesture - and indeed the effort it must have taken on the part of the developers at the studio to make the Forthog Orc-Slayer a reality. It was publisher Warner Bros., which had already come under fire for its controversial microtransaction plan for Shadow of War, that was accused of nefarious motives.
Some are sure to see Warner Bros.' statement as a backtrack in the face of mounting pressure from angry fans over the handling of the Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC. Others will say the company only has itself to blame after failing to properly communicate its intentions with the DLC. Either way, it seems the Forgey family will indeed benefit from every sale of Forthog Orc-Slayer, and that, ultimately, is a positive outcome.
As we mentioned in our previous article, those who wish to directly donate money to the Forgey family can do via YouCaring.com.