EA Being Hit With A Class Action Lawsuit Over Battlefield 4

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As we recounted yesterday in this article. DICE and EA have been under heavy scrutiny since the launch of Battlefield 4. Many gamers have experienced more than a fair share of issues with the game. The title has suffered so heavily that DICE has been pulled from all other development until it’s up to par.

We’d heard that a law firm was investigating EA and the Battlefield 4 situation on behalf of one of EA’s investors. Now it appears that a class action suit has been levied against the publisher. The basis of the lawsuit is as follows:

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants issued materially false and misleading statements highlighting the purported strength of the Company’s rollout of version 4 of its all-important Battlefield video game series,

In addition to the alleged overall misrepresentation, an additional segment of the complaint,

further alleges that, 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.

EA was unable to stave off the class-action suit that crippled its annual NCAA franchise. Do you think this lawsuit is justified? It remains to be seen what will come of the legal proceedings, but its clear that another one of EA’s flagship franchises has been damaged by these allegations. The full press release containing the details of the class action suit can be found below.

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NEW YORK–()–Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP (“Robbins Geller”) (http://www.rgrdlaw.com/cases/electronicartsinc/) today announced that a class action has been commenced in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of purchasers of Electronic Arts, Inc. (“Electronic Arts,” “EA” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ:EA) common stock during the period between July 24, 2013 and December 4, 2013 (the “Class Period”).

 

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than 60 days from today. If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please contact plaintiff’s counsel, Samuel H. Rudman or David A. Rosenfeld of Robbins Geller at 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, or via e-mail at djr@rgrdlaw.com. If you are a member of this class, you can view a copy of the complaint as filed or join this class action online at http://www.rgrdlaw.com/cases/electronicartsinc/. Any member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member.

 

The complaint charges Electronic Arts and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Electronic Arts develops, markets, publishes and distributes video game software content and services that can be played by consumers on a variety of Internet-based electronic devices for video game consoles, personal computers, mobile phones, tablets and electronic readers.

 

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants issued materially false and misleading statements 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 further alleges that, 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. 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.

 

According to the complaint, defendants’ Class Period statements were materially false and misleading because they failed to disclose and misrepresented the following adverse facts which were known to or recklessly disregarded by defendants: (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.

 

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of Electronic Arts common stock during the Class Period (the “Class”). The plaintiff is represented by Robbins Geller, which has expertise in prosecuting investor class actions and extensive experience in actions involving financial fraud.

 

Robbins Geller represents U.S. and international institutional investors in contingency-based securities and corporate litigation. With nearly 200 lawyers in ten offices, the firm represents hundreds of public and multi-employer pension funds with combined assets under management in excess of $2 trillion. The firm has obtained many of the largest recoveries and has been ranked number one in the number of shareholder class action recoveries in MSCI’s Top SCAS 50 every year since 2003. Please visit http://www.rgrdlaw.com for more information.

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Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
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  • JAFFMAN

    Hang em High Boys!

    • Zohak Diaz

      Gears

      • Guerilla

        Coming up next..class suit against $ony.
        The “supposed” superior machine cannot perform the task as advertised.

        Hang Cerny or Suhei well.

        • djorjan

          Ps4 <3 crashes

          u cant blame the fact

          • JAFFMAN

            Lets see what mess EA make of Titanfall!

  • Matt

    F*** EA

    • Zohak Diaz

      Ryse

      • Matt

        QTE: The game?

        • Shane Bryan

          Groan, you actually played it or spouting shit you heard online 6 months ago?

  • Jewy McJew

    I don’t know… I am thinking the best way to show my anger is to avoid buying Battlefield 5.

    You can’t sue someone for making a bad movie. Should you be able to sue for a bad game?

    • Jeremy Filth

      $60 for a broken game is a bigger loss than spending $10 on a shitty movie.

    • Mar Vel

      There’s an important distinction between bad and broken. Also this is a lawsuit by investors not gamers – their complaint is that they were misled about the state of the product and therefore sales projections. Publicly traded companies have to be relatively open with their shareholders as to what is going on.

      Personally, I’m happy about this – hopefully it’ll be a lesson to the gaming industry to actually finish their software before release, rather than letting the public beta test for them and then maybe fixing problems with patches months down the line.

    • abue

      Yes, the past 6 years of gaming has been the biggest joke i’ve seen in my life… Companies releasing unfinished games and selling them as is then finding bugs and issues. You paid for a game/service at this point, if it’s not working you’re being ripped off and it’s not like the game issues are fixed as of yet, it’s already been a month. If the game is not ready to be released DO NOT RELEASE it but these low lives decide to release games in holiday seasons to maximize profits… Unfortunately that’s not going to always work…. voila lawsuits.. people of tired of this bull, EA published SWTOR too, did you play on release? Probably not… the game was garbage, lack of content, a bajillion bugs, server issues… but for an mmo that’s almost acceptable since no mmo is ever released with 100% perfection… but a shooter? a simple ass shooter, you log in, get into aserver and kill people, it’s not a constantly changing world. I never saw any absolutely game breaking bugs that would cost me money in battlefield 1942, battlefield 2, battlefield 2142, battlefield bad company… all these games were fine on release…. but that time and age is over……… it’s all about maximizing profits and releasing games asap to dry out the consumer’s pockets. that’s how this stuff works now… if no one says anything, they will keep doing it… if the lawsuit doesn’t succeed no big deal.. at least someone is trying to raise their voice with the issues. EA is not the only company that does this… but take for example these new games on steam that say early access and in development. YOU KNOW UR PAYING FOR A GAME THAT’S BEEN DEVELOPED… so if it had bugs no big deal because you knew before hand you’re testing the game and it’s not a finished product (example: DayZ, starbound, ARMA 3 was like that during alpha… etc………)

      • Corey

        the thing is…..BF4 DOES have a more constantly changing world. Not FULLY….but it’s 1000 times more complicated than “a simply shooter.” There’s weather….physics, destruction, water simulation, etc.

        Just sayin….WAY different than an arcade shooter.

        But ya…I agree essentially with you shpeel.

  • London754

    Dice also allowed a half finished product to be released without warning the public. F*** EA/Dice

    • Zach Lusk

      DICE had no say in when the game was released. They tried to fix the game as much as possible in the time frame they had. DICE has a reputation to upkeep do you think they’d compromise that if they had a say in when BF4 was ready? I’m sure they would have delayed it if they could. Stop blaming them when you should keep the blame on EA.

      • jax

        what reputation? they fucked up since BC2.

        • Zohak Diaz

          Call of aliens

      • ddeamorin79

        Dice is a buisiness they don’t care stop defending them like they are some saints of gaming they knew the game was broken and did nothing to even hint to it they deserve to answer for this and they will I have been a battlefield fanatic since day one of 1942 but they have lost what made them so great I hope they learn from this but they do deserve this

        • Josh P

          You obviously don’t understand the business relationship between Dice and EA, and the disclosure rights that Dice has. How can you assert that Dice basically stood by and did nothing. EA controls who says what, when they say it, and when the game is released.

      • Hawk Winters

        DICE lost credibility when they decided to change the feel of their game in order to compete more directly with COD. Battlefield 2 and to a lesser extent 2142 were the last 2 good battlefields.

        • RjK311jR

          100% agreed upon, dice will probably split from ea an either take Battlefield or recreate an entirely new but original battlefield feel to it.. BUNGIe is doing it! titanfall is an infinity ward modern combat developer… So its just a matter of time.. This could really hurt EA!

    • Althalus

      Instead of just spouting bullshit you may want to learn something. DICE makes the game, EA shoves it out the door.

      • Zohak Diaz

        Call of doggy

      • dirkradke

        That is another way of saying DICE developed the game and EA published it.

  • Brian Anthony

    This only puts some non-gaming Lawyer who doesn’t give a shit about gaming a bigger house on the hill! I hope his or her son is a gamer! Lawyers do nothing for gaming but cause more paperwork! This will hurt the gaming industry more than help it folks! I agree EA shouldn’t dictate to developers a deadline, but really, corp bullshit doesn’t help our games!

    • Zohak Diaz

      Gears

  • fwefwe

    deeestory them!!! but not befor ethey make bad company 3 :P

  • cell989

    where do I get my pitchfork and torch?

  • Rorison Meadows

    Best jogging simulator ever

    • chitown

      That’s not a bug, that’s you not knowing how to play.

      • Rorison Meadows

        No one said it was a bug. It was me in more ways than one telling you that you’re a fucking retard

  • Trim Dose

    It serves you well EA, I hope you bleed alot. Next time you will think twice in releasing a faulty game like this one.

  • DarthDiggler

    Just a bunch of lawyers looking for a pay day, no good will come of this. The game has always worked but it had issues. A broken game doesn’t boot, hence the difference between a broken game and a game with some issues.

    • David

      I don’t know, I think if you can’t play a full round without crashing, or if there are issues while you play that literally make the game unplayable it’s broken whether it boots or not.

  • chitown

    Good. They need to be punished for releasing such a blatantly defective product. In any other industry this would come in the form of consumers returning the product and taking their money back, but ridiculous software IP laws have the fringe effect of eliminating, or at least throwing up hurdles to, such consumer recourse.

  • abue

    Guess people finally got tired of all these subpar companies releasing unfinished games for mad cash…. BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! back to cs 1.6.

  • sometimesavowel

    erm…not for anything but maybe legal documents should use proper stylization of trademark? There’s no space in “Playstation”

  • Michael King

    A lot of people slated Ubisoft, for the delays of Watch Dogs and The Crew.
    I fully respect Ubisoft for being honest to the gamers regarding delays. Imagine if they rushed the release of the games? They’d have the same situation that EA/Dice are currently having. Credit where credit due!

  • DasXero

    NOOOO why cant they make them only work on Battlefront 3 D:

  • Soren Helskov

    LoL Suit by the same morons that want their money big and fast from the developer! How ironic!
    DICE is not to blame! EA is to blame! They wanted the game on the market before COD.

  • robert miller

    so how do i get in on this?
    i dont have to go to CA do i?

    • dirkradke

      If you’re investor I assume you would be sent a letter asking if you want to participate since it’s a Class Action lawsuit on their behalf. As a consumer you really have no rights here unless it’s found the coding was so bad that it is bricking consoles are something.

  • Dos

    Learn from Steam, they don’t publish games and video until they actually think it is ready to deliver to public. Look at DOTA 2, started in 2011 and won’t take off the BETA tag until this year.

    • random_shoe

      But even then, with PC’s is more understandable cause it’s an open platform. From what I hear, people on all platforms have problems.
      That and steam patches it games really fast, they usually are cheaper AND since you’re on a pc, you might be able to fix it yourself with some software online

  • krsnik616

    having bugs crashes and glitches happens in a lot of games and DICE have been fixing it so i dont see this law suit going anywhere. the product still works fine a lot of the problems are gone but there will still be people who hang on to the smallest thing and keep repeating whats been said weeks ago.

  • Zohak Diaz

    The one thing i hate the most is having to start all over again my campaign because it apparently does not save. :( obliteration mode is beautiful until they kick me for no reason at all. The game looks beautiful, but they should fix all those bugs and not only that. Give us gamers something on the house. Perhaps all downloadable content and a month of double xp.

  • godlike1

    i hope they lose MILLIONS and they learn there lesson after to make games better… EA destroy everything they touch..they suck the soul out of every one they hire… they need to be whipped into shape.. lets hope there sued a few more times

  • ChrisW

    Don’t blame DICE for EA’s shenanigans. EA forced them to rush the product.

  • dirkradke

    Sounds like EA was too greedy and the investors are calling the company on it.

  • RTF Article

    Did any of you actually read this article? The lawsuit is complaining about how EA’s stock price was artificially inflated by promises of a quality BF4 rollout and, subsequently, how their stock fell 24% over the coming months.

    The problems with BF4 are a key reason to EA’s stock decline, but this suit is more about artificial manipulation of stock price than video games.

  • RMA

    OK, so lying to gamers who buy your broken game is OK, but lying to stockholders is unforgivable. Got it.

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  • muguripon

    burn dem bitches down

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  • Howard Katz

    All I can say from experience is that EA/DICE and the Battlefield series have had their shares of glitches. Remember all the problems with Battlefield 2 ??OMG those load times on PC were horrendous!! I think that whenever one buys a first day launch system and game, software problems are to be expected. It is the risk one takes for buying something so fresh.

    • Bogus Moniker

      As a software developer, I want to agree with your statement “problems are to be expected”… but as a software developer, I also think that there’s nothing wrong with expecting high-quality software that doesn’t crash often.

      As a gamer and consumer, I’d be pretty ticked off if the motor stopped running at any given time on the brand new automobile I just bought. Yeah, that analogy is good enough for me.

      • Howard Katz

        I agree ,however, that is the chance one takes when purchasing something right out the starting gate wether it be a car or video game console or video game,which really is my main point here.

        • Bogus Moniker

          I get that, I do. Sony introduced new hardware & software in the PS4 and required a day-one update and a subsequent update. They reacted quickly and knocked-out initial issues. Gold star for them, it’s working great now.

          EA/Dice however, their game was a hot mess. Took a MONTH until we got the 12/17 update that fixed most of the crashes.

          Anyway, in the end though, we’re still just hashing things out over #FirstWorldProblems.

          • Howard Katz

            Remember what a chore Battlefield 2 was ?

  • Dude

    Finally. Game companies need to fix the game BEFORE release, not AFTER it.

    Seems like they like using us for testing.

  • Corey

    stupid.

  • dave

    well maybe EA will get it right when they release games in the future… everyone is sick of this but as consumers, who can afford to sue EA? I hope they learn a lesson from this

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  • Chiifin1

    Great game.. love the franchise.. but the game simply should not have been released to public.. and if it was, strictly under a beta trial, or warn its’ fans that this is a highly unstable game which may result in excessive rebooting of computers/consoles, causing unwanted wear/tear

  • Laurie

    fantastic! EA acts like its untouchable while it treats its customers with contempt, this is not the first game that has been like this. sue em into the ground!

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