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Back in March, Middle-earth: Shadow of War producer Michael Forgey passed away following a battle with cancer. According to the team, Forgey would frequently leap in to save the day throughout development, and the team will be honoring him by including him in the game as a DLC character that behaves in the same manner.
Available for pre-order already on Steam, Forthog Orcslayer can be added to your run through Shadow of War for $4.99. The character's name and design pay homage to Forgey, who actually played in a band called Orcslayer. The character's weapon of choice is a guitar that has been converted into a battle axe.
The official DLC description highlights Forthog Orcslayer as an "unstoppable warrior" who is willing to jump in and "protect Mordor's mightiest heroes during their moment of greatest need."
It's a rather touching sentiment, but not one without a bit of controversy. Apparently, there's some fine print when it comes to how the DLC funds are being handled. For starters, there's the fact that 30 percent ($1.50) of each sale will remain with either WBIA or the platform holder for where it was purchased. Also, a collection of U.S. states can't be included in the promotion, such as Alabama, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi and South Carolina. Finally, any purchase outside of the U.S. cannot be included in the donations to the family, which means those sales are just straight revenue.
We assume that there is some sort of legal/contractual reasoning for this, but neither the developer nor the publisher have commented on it yet. The problem is that, without this fact being clearly stated upfront, a lot of folks seem to feel like WB is trying to pull a fast one over on kind-hearted gamers. We've seen plenty of promotions in video games benefit a charity to the sum of 100 percent of funds earned, no matter where the purchase was coming from. So the question is, what makes this one so different. And, again, if you don't live within the designated states, it's not hard to understand why someone may feel a bit cheated; thinking they've forked over five bucks to help out a family in need when, in fact, their money went straight to a major corporation.
We think a bit more information would help calm the waters tremendously. As is, if feels like Forgey's family will suffer the most impact from this promotion going sideways, and that just isn't fair.