Shadow of War Just Can't Win...

Shadow of War has been in the news a lot lately. First it was the big reveal at E3 that got everyone excited about what looked to be a great sequel to an incredibly well received and underappreciated game (Shadow of Mordor).

Then came the Microtransactions. It came to light that the WB produced game would include a loot box mechanic that would allow players to buy things that directly impact the single player experience in the game. But that's not what we're going to talk about here, tune into the next podcast episode to hear about that one.

Now there's a big scandal surrounding the game and one of its bits of DLC. During the development of the game, a member of the studio passed away after a battle with cancer. Mike Forgey was one of the Executive Producers of Shadow of Mordor and was one of the driving forces behind the Shadow of War as well. In tribute to Forgey's contributions to the games, the studio made a special Orc names Forthog Orcslayer that can be unlocked via a DLC purchase. It will function a lot like the "Mysterious Stranger" of Fallout fame (if you aren't familiar, the Mysterious Stranger randomly shows up in combat and lends a helping hand). The DLC will cost $4.99 and is available for preorder now alongside the game itself. WB and Monolith both stated that all proceeds from the sale of the DLC will go to Mike's family.

This all sounds awesome right? Great for a studio to recognize one of their coworkers and help out his family in a time where things are probably very rough for them. But there was something about the announcement that bothered some fans of the game... "For every $4.99 Forthog Orcslayer purchase made in the U.S., WBIE will donate $3.50." 

Their reaction, understandably, was, "Wait... just purchases made in the US? And only $3.50 out of the $4.99? Where is the rest of the money going?" Which lead to people digging into the fine print of the announcement and the DLC itself. The first person to really shed light on this whole thing was Total Bisquit in this 20-minute YouTube discussion of the issue. And from there it has absolutely blown up and turned into a giant maelstrom of media anger.

You see, in the fine print there are a bunch of exceptions where NONE of the donations go to the family. Multiple states in the US won't legally allow donations in this manner, so they're exempted. And most of the rest of the world also won't count toward the total being donated to the family. 

This has forced Warner Brothers studio to come out and make statements that they would "not profit from the sale of this DLC." 

The problem is, due to a lot of the negative press surrounding the game and their microtransaction business practices, no one believes them. And this is a legitimate concern. Especially when it comes to alleged acts of charity at the hands of players purchasing things, the players, the customers, deserve to know where and how their money is going to be handled. There needs to be transparency here, not fine print. Which sucks. It sucks for players. It sucks for the family of Mike Forgey. It sucks for his friends at the studio that just want to honor the friend that they all lost far too early. This is not how they want to memorialize him. 

But what do you think? Do you think people should calm down and wait and see how things are handled? Do you think the pitchforks are warranted? Can you think of a better way to handle all of this? Agree with Total Bisquit? Let us know in the comments below.


This weekend we have the NA LCS Gauntlet. The 6th through 2nd place teams play to see who gets to potentially punch their ticket to the World Championship tournament. It kicks of Friday with Flyquest vs Team Dignitas. Then the winner of that series plays Counter Logic Gaming on Saturday... and then the winner of that series plays against Cloud9 on Sunday. All games begin at 3pm Eastern and all backs are against the wall. Lose and you are almost guaranteed to stay home.

You can find all the coverage details at the LoLeSports website.

Also this weekend, there's some playoff caliber esports games being played via the mobile MOBA Vainglory. Their big Vainglory 8 event is this weekend. The top 6 teams from Europe and the top 6 teams from North America collide in a huge event to determine who the best truly is. If you're curious about the game, and want to check it out, coverage options are available over on the Vainglory eSports website.