On March 3rd, Monolith executive producer Michael Forgey died of cancer. The staff at Monolith announced yesterday that they will memorialize Forgey as a downloadable comrade in the upcoming Middle-earth: Shadow of War.

Forgey will appear in the game as Forthog Orc-Slayer, a powerful orc hunter who will randomly arrive to aid the player and kill foes with a single swipe of his mighty axe. Forgey was a practiced musician and part of Orc Slayer, a band made up of Monolith team members.

“He was a musician most of his life,” Shadow of War art director Phil Straud said in a livestream yesterday. Forthog’s weapon is a battle axe fashioned out of a guitar. The character can be seen in action in the trailer above, which features music performed by Forgey himself.


Forthog Orc-Slayer will appear as a piece of downloadable content priced at $4.99. A donation of $3.50 per purchase will be made to Forgey’s family until December 31st, 2019. This will apply to sales within the continental US, with some exceptions.

Creating monuments to fallen friends and family is a common practice in games. Fathers have petitioned to have their sons placed into games as NPCs, and games like Overwatch have added small tributes to fallen fans.

“We wanted to make Forgey immortal,” Monolith studio head Kevin Stephens said. “He would jump in and help out for anything. The idea of him jumping in to save the day is what we wanted to capture.”

Senior Writer and Critic at Kotaku.

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