On Shadow of War

Xander is a fan of Jim Sterling, and watching his videos on this have summarised a lot of opinions I have, quite possibly way more eloquently than I could.

I'm opposed to micro-transactions in paid for games. It leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth and I cannot help but compare it to a foreigner's view of the USA's health system. Even in Assassin's Creed, a game franchise I was a big fan of after the introduction of Ezio, and despite the views of some I quite like the Fry twins, but then, I love the sarcastic banter between them. But the micro-transactions don't see a penny and the game is, by design, penalising you for that by making it harder to grab the standard currency.

But I digress.

The fact that Middle Earth: Shadow of War has micro-transactions is disappointing to say the least, because it suggests that Monolith's work is not a game worth playing, a notion that, if Shadow of Mordor is anything to go by, cannot possibly be true. The fact that orcs for your army are a possible loot you can chance for is sickening to me because it takes away the challenge that many gamers strive for in favour of the ones seeking immediate satisfaction.

However, the most recent news was perhaps the most saddening and sickening.

Followers of Monolith will know that the original producer of Shadow of War, Michael Forgey, passed away of cancer last year. As many in this situation do, Monolith sought to commemorate their fallen friend with an extra in the world he worked to make. This came in the form of Forthog the Orcslayer, an NPC who occasionally emerges to bail the player out when they're in trouble, which was a nod to his character as a producer and friend. It seems touching enough...

...until you find out that he's DLC you have to pay for.

While Warner Brothers Interactive claims that $3.50 will go to supporting Michael's family, it is worth noting that the fine print disclaims the majority of likely sales, saying this $3.50 only applies to the US...

...and even then, six states are excluded.

Aside from the fact that charity items are tax exempt, and even then, platform and taxes are likely to cost less than $1.50, even if there are legal implications here, it feels misleading to promote the good and hide the bad.

I have a big ask for anyone reading this.

If you wish to support the family as thanks for Michael's work, please donate to the fund to Mihcael's family or a cancer charity instead of paying for this DLC. The only thing that these big corporations will listen to at this point is when people vote with their money and as much as I love the sentiment behind Forthog I think it should be stressed that it is not OK to profit from the death of someone who helped create the product.

UPDATE: Warner Brothers Interactive has, since the initial publishing date, have made Forthog free DLC and refunded everyone who purchased it. In place of this a lump sum has been donated to Michael Forgey's family.


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