battlefield 4111 -
battlefield 4111 -

US law firm Robbins Geller has launched a class action lawsuit against EA following the shoddy launch of Battlefield 4 and the impact the game's issues had on EA's share price.

Posted by Business Wire (and spotted by OXM), the lawsuit seeks to recover damages on behalf of all investors who bought shares in the company between July 24 and December 4, and "charges Electronic Arts and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934."

Battlefield 4 screenshot

EA is accused of issuing "materially false and misleading statements" between the two dates "highlighting the purported strength of the Company's rollout of version 4 of its all-important Battlefield video game series, which had provided approximately 11% of its revenues in fiscal 2012.

"Based on the purported strength of the Battlefield 4 rollout then underway, defendants issued strong fiscal 2014 financial guidance for the Company and actually increased that guidance on October 29, 2013. The price of Electronic Arts' stock steadily climbed on these statements, reaching a Class Period high of $28.13 per share by August 23, 2013 and allowing certain of Electronic Arts' senior executives to sell their Electronic Arts stock at artificially inflated prices."

The complaint also references Battlefield 4's launch bugs, which saw the company's share price dive after it was revealed that EA had halted development of future DICE projects and Battlefield 4 DLC in order to focus on fixing the game.

Battlefield 4 screenshot

"...On November 15, 2013, the day Sony released its new Play Station 4 ('PS4') console, it was disclosed that players of Electronic Arts’ games were being subjected to multiple glitches and significant crashes when attempting to play Electronic Arts' titles on PS4," reads the claim, referring to comments made by EA on its support site.

It continues: "The price of Electronic Arts stock fell on these disclosures, declining more than 7% from a close of $25.96 per share on November 14, 2013 to close at $24.06 per share on November 15, 2013. Then, on December 4, 2013, it was disclosed through discussions defendants had with video game bloggers that due to bugs, connectivity issues, server limitations, and various other problems plaguing Battlefield 4, Electronic Arts had been forced to indefinitely halt the Battlefield 4 rollout and other projects until the problems with Battlefield 4 could be fixed.

"The price of Electronic Arts shares declined on this news from a close of $22.34 on December 4, 2013 to close at $21.01 on December 5, 2013, sending the share price down more than 28% from its Class Period high."

The complaint goes on to label statements made by EA between July 24 and December 4 as being "materially false and misleading because they failed to disclose and misrepresented the following adverse facts which were known to or recklessly disregarded by defendants:

Battlefield 4 screenshot

"(a) Battlefield 4 was riddled with bugs and multiple other problems, including downloadable content that allowed players access to more levels of the game, a myriad of connectivity issues, server limitations, lost data and repeated sudden crashes, among other things;

"(b) as a result, Electronic Arts would not achieve a successful holiday season 2013 rollout of Battlefield 4;

"(c) the performance of the Electronic Arts unit publishing Battlefield 4 was so deficient that all other projects that unit was involved in had to be put on hold to permit it to focus its efforts on fixing Battlefield 4;

"and (d) as a result, Electronic Arts was not on track to achieve the financial results it had told the market it was on track to achieve during the Class Period."

Battlefield 4 launched on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in October with Xbox One and PS4 versions releasing the following month.

Source: businesswire.com

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YGBjammy's Avatar

YGBjammy

I don't feel like anything will actually come out of this, it surely must happen with any product that flops? Investors are told it'll be great, and then it doesn't do well. It's just the risk you take surely, you can't reasonably promise anything as sales are ultimately out of their control.
Posted 07:43 on 19 December 2013
Nxs's Avatar

Nxs

Every corporation lies! Gamers know it, investors know it, hell even governments know it!

You can claim it is because they lied to investors. I say it is because they put out a broken game and they ones stupid enough to buy it got pissed.

:D
Posted 22:43 on 18 December 2013
Anselm's Avatar

Anselm@ Nxs

They are not being sued because they suck, they are being sued because they lied to investors. They claimed that they would be making far more money than they will be, which encouraged investors to invest more than they would. This is a violation of business ethics (Oxymoron, but it is a thing) and is proper grounds for a lawsuit.
Posted 22:36 on 18 December 2013
Nxs's Avatar

Nxs

EA sucks balls and has ruined every franchise I have loved! (BF, SSX, NFS and Burnout just to name a few) You should not get to sue because they suck! If you invest in them, that is the risk you take. If they start to suck (looooong time ago) then sell your shares and move on! How hard is this?

They make games (or buy ppl that do) if you are that invested in them, don't sue! Change the board of directors or something! Make a change in the way they are handled. Suing isnt going to do a damn thing aside from lose both parties more money than it is worth!

Here is a thought: Be nice to the people that buy your games!!! No more origin, no more browser based ***** that is the BF series, no more only online NFS and Burnout games and above all be nice to the people that buy your damn games! Idiots!

:D
Posted 22:00 on 18 December 2013
steamgent's Avatar

steamgent

Good, they deserve it
Posted 20:55 on 18 December 2013
9193bb's Avatar

9193bb

Justice
Posted 17:14 on 18 December 2013
Dreamcaster's Avatar

Dreamcaster

Normally I'm not a fan of these types of lawsuits but I gotta say this one is probably warranted. Even if it doesn't go to trial, it will cost EA tons of money for legal bills and it sends a message to others, "DON'T release broken games" & expect the public to be ok with it.
Posted 17:04 on 18 December 2013
ShadowmanX5's Avatar

ShadowmanX5

Too right I say! Both Publishers and Developers need to take this as an example that you cannot release a buggy half finished game and expect everyone to be ok with it. With digital distribution now becoming a major part of development, it seems to be the mindset of "hit the release date no matter what - patch it after" and that is a god-awful attitude to have. Especially when you're asking for bloody £40-£50 for the initial content without even including DLC.

Saying that I'm a little glad EA is the first example to get smacked with something like this and not a company I actually care about. Their business practices over the past generation left a sour taste in the mouth to say the least.
Posted 16:55 on 18 December 2013

Game Stats

Release Date: 01/11/2013
Developer: D.I.C.E
Publisher: EA
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 31 197
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