Shadow of War is just around the corner and WB seems to be scrambling to do some damage control regarding the controversies and bad press that sprouted after their announcement the game will feature microtransactions. Even what should have been a lovely and kind gesture was mired in controversy due to a series of communication oversight and what some perceived as lack of transparency. Monolith and WB decided to memorialize the Shadow of War’s executive producer Mike ‘Forthog’ Forgey, who passed away in a DLC for the game he worked on. The proceeds from the sale of the DLC would be going to Forgey’s family.
Now, in what some will call a touching gesture and others a blatant PR stunt aimed at damage control, the WB have opted to make the Forthog DLC free and make a direct donation to the deceased producer’s family. People who have already bought the DLC will receive a full refund. Apparently, the whole miscommunication originated in WB’s attempt to skirt international compliance laws. In a recently released statement, they claim they always intended to give all the money from the sales to the family, but actually announcing and promoting that outside of the US “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.”
A tweet suggesting international DLC sales would not have gone to Forgey’s family only made the whole thing worse. WB insists the tweet was incorrect, but it hardly matters now. Apparently, they believed the stateside promotion of the charity DLC would be enough, but it only exacerbated the miscommunication.
It’s too bad Warner Bros.’ confused messaging almost ruined a charity drive to help a grieving family, but they seem to have twigged to the fact the way they went about it was wrong and are trying to correct the situation. For those interested in giving some money directly to the family, there’s a YouCaring page that accepts donations.