Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith have apologised for their handling of Middle-earth: Shadow of War‘s Forthog DLC, which was created to honor a developer who passed away last year, and will now make the content free to everyone. Those that have already purchased the DLC will be refunded, and to meet the original intent of the DLC, the publisher will also donate to the family of Michael “4G” Forgey.
Profits from the sale of the DLC were to be donated to the family of Forgey, who passed away in March 2016 from a rare form of cancer known as glioblastoma. However, the effort drew criticism after there were indications that a portion of the profits wouldn’t go to Forgey’s widow and children.
According to a new statement from Warner Bros. posted on the Shadow of War community page, the publisher and Shadow of War developer, Monolith, always intended “to give all profits from the DLC, worldwide to the Forgey family” but only “planned to actively promote this donation in the U.S.”
This, it says, was in order to stay complaint with the laws of different territories, as by detailing where the funds from other territories were going it “could have triggered compliance obligations or put us in violations of cause marketing laws in some of the 241 territories in which the content was available.”
Furthermore, a “factually incorrect tweet” from its own team “exacerbated the confusion by stating that international funds would not be going to the family.” In the statement, Warner went on to say that it recognizes that “tying our donation to sales of the DLC was not the best way to to achieve our goal of offering financial support to the family and creating a lasting memorial to Michael Forgey.”
It continued: “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“The DLC will be withdrawn from sale and will be a free download for owners of Middle-earth: Shadow of War.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.”