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EA hit with class action lawsuit over Battlefield 4 bugs

EA investors are none too happy with the botched launch of Battlefield 4 and have filed a class action lawsuit against the publisher.

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Battlefield 4 launched riddled with bugs. Since then, EA and DICE have suspended development of DLC as it continues to roll out updates that try to make the game more stable for players. Unsurprisingly, a class action lawsuit has been filed regarding Battlefield's bumpy launch. However, what is surprising is who is filing the suit.

The class action covers investors, anyone who purchased EA common stock between July 24 and December 4. The reason? The complaint alleges that EA over-promised on Battlefield 4, and that the glitchy launch has stunted the game's sales--which, in turn, has lowered the stock value for investors.

"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 alleges.

Following the launch of Battlefield 4, the price of EA shares dropped to $21.01, down over 25% over its class period high. According to the complaint, EA "recklessly disregarded" known issues over Battlefield 4.

EA defended itself in a statement to Polygon, saying "we believe these claims are meritless. We intend to aggressively defend ourselves, and we're confident the court will dismiss the complaint in due course."

Andrew Yoon was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 18, 2013 2:15 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, EA hit with class action lawsuit over Battlefield 4 bugs.

    EA investors are none too happy with the botched launch of Battlefield 4 and have filed a class action lawsuit against the publisher.

    • reply
      December 18, 2013 2:46 PM

      Anyone taking bets on EA's next buggy game?

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        December 18, 2013 2:56 PM

        Their next game.

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          December 18, 2013 3:08 PM

          Sims 4, definitely not preordering. Maybe skipping entirely. Still cant even play sims 3 because of all the bugs.

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        December 18, 2013 4:21 PM

        Dune Racer.

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      December 18, 2013 2:48 PM

      They are upset about BF4 but not simcity? I mean c'mon now. Maybe BF4 was just the straw that broke the camel's back, but Simcity had way way worse issues IMO.

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        December 18, 2013 3:02 PM

        Investors are upset. Instead of seeing "SimCity" and "Battlefield" they see "remake of game from unpopular genre" and "guaranteed 8 million sales every two years" - understandably, they'll be more upset of EA fail to deliver on the latter.

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        December 18, 2013 3:07 PM

        It's a suit brought on by a bunch of digital ambulance chasers, is my impression.

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        December 18, 2013 3:08 PM

        No one cares about Simcity

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          December 18, 2013 7:22 PM

          if that's the case then the customers of this industry deserve every shitty thing that comes to them >:(

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        December 18, 2013 4:25 PM

        EA's stock fell to $17 on March 18 when John Riccitiello resigned. Then it went up to $21 on this financial forecast: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/electronic-arts-scores-big-with-forecast-2013-05-08

        Doug Creutz of Cowen & Co. called the forecast “a bit of a shocker to us” and retained an outperform rating on the stock. “We think this is a clear signal that EA is finally serious about driving margins meaningfully higher,” he wrote, adding that the company’s revenue guidance “sets up well given that it will largely be predicated on well-established franchises (Sports, ‘Sims’, ‘Battlefield’) and a mobile business which continues to grow impressively.”
        ...
        “EA’s issue with execution and margins has come from poor product quality,” wrote Evan Wilson of Pacific Crest. “While Wall Street may applaud a smaller cost basis, EA cannot fix its disappointing game quality with a smaller cost base, in our view. In fact, costs cuts may worsen its long-term problems.”

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      December 18, 2013 2:50 PM

      [deleted]

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        December 18, 2013 2:57 PM

        yea i haven't crashed in quite awhile

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        December 18, 2013 3:44 PM

        90.5 hours, lots of crashes. Until this week's patch I don't think I ever made it through a Shanghai match. This week's patch seems to've sorted that out for me, for which I'm grateful 'cause I really like Shanghai.

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        December 18, 2013 4:24 PM

        I crashed maybe twice early on. Admittedly I haven't played in a while, but it was stable at release for me and a few co-workers.

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        December 18, 2013 5:07 PM

        Lucky you. I crash every single time I play, often before my first round is over.

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          December 18, 2013 8:12 PM

          I get the red screen of death at every map change. Its actually an ongoing issue if you google it

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        December 18, 2013 6:12 PM

        I love these posts. You're just aDORable.

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        December 18, 2013 6:22 PM

        [deleted]

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        December 18, 2013 6:34 PM

        Well the lawsuit isn't for you specifically. I mean the share holders didn't call you up and ask how many crashes you persoanlly had did they?

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        December 18, 2013 7:03 PM

        I've NEVER had one crash!!!



        probably because I didn't buy the game

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        December 18, 2013 7:39 PM

        Seriously 10 crashes sounds terrible. I get pretty mad after 1 crash regardless of how long I've played.

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        December 18, 2013 9:03 PM

        Look at this subthread. Wow. God damn the bar is low around here.

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      December 18, 2013 2:55 PM

      EA is bad for the video game industry.

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        December 18, 2013 4:55 PM

        Do you really think that because they released a game that needed to be patched, even as badly as it did, they are bad for the games industry and should be help legally responsible.

        A big problem with this attitude is the idea that there is a cohesive games industry that One should be subservient to, or good for. How can you expect anything unique or new from these people in that case. They wouldn't be artists, only laborers.

        I am an artist in many ways, and though I wish the best for many artistic industries, I will never try to do right by these industries. I would stop being an artists, and no one can say they should remain the way they are.
        This suit assumes that EA should be doing right by the investors and the industry. Long run, not even a financially smart tack.

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      December 18, 2013 3:17 PM

      Woah. Is this the first time that investors have sued a company over something like this?

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      December 18, 2013 3:31 PM

      Hopefully, this will give EA pause the next time they decide to release an unfinished product. To be fair though, most of the investors have likely never played a video game in their life , they only see the $. It's a lose/lose for these companies because they're pressured by these same investors to make sure their products come out as quickly as possible, yet they'll be upset if a buggy launch hurts stock value. At the same time, they'll grab pitchforks and torches if a game is delayed for quality assurance reasons (case in point: Ubisoft).

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      December 18, 2013 4:20 PM

      EAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard for Equity

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      December 18, 2013 4:25 PM

      If they fuck up the next Mass Effect game... There will be riots on the streets.

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      December 18, 2013 4:27 PM

      how do shareholder lawsuits work? it seems like your almost suing yourself.

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        December 18, 2013 4:31 PM

        you're suing the people you paid to make you a profitable product and give you a return on that investment. you're not suing yourself at all.

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          December 18, 2013 4:37 PM

          Except that you are part owner of the company (that's what shares are) so when the company pays you back and decreases its value to do so, your shares lose value proportionally. So you are suing yourself.

          But the thing is if you only own 0.00001% of the company, and someone else owns 5% of the company, it hurts them a whole helluva a lot more than it hurts you. (In effect, you are taking money from them to give to yourself).

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            December 18, 2013 4:40 PM

            while technically correct i would not agree with the statement "you are suing yourself" in this situation.

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              December 18, 2013 4:52 PM

              Technically correct is the best kind of correct, so I'm not sure what you're disputing.

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                December 18, 2013 4:55 PM

                is it not black and white enough for you in what i said? lol. fact check all day long. it is wrong to say you're "suing yourself" in this situation. also...saying "you're suing yourself" is wrong. and i don't agree with "it is like suing yourself" in this situation. i could say it a couple more ways if you want but, somehow i don't think it'll "compute" for you...technically...lol.

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            December 18, 2013 9:48 PM

            [deleted]

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      December 18, 2013 4:32 PM

      A class action suit has not actually been filed, this law firm is trying to find people who bought EA stock on the open market specifically because of expectations of the launch of Battlefield 4 making the stock increase in price but who lost money because of lowered stock prices after the game came out. They have not actually found these investors yet and even if they do there is a good chance a judge won't allow this suit to go forward. According to IGN


      "It's important to note that this is still a complaint and the class action itself hasn't been filed; the firm needs a leading plaintiff who bought common stock in EA between July and December to come forward by the motion deadline in 60 days on February 15, 2014, no sure thing."

      In the last year these guys have filed against Microsoft, Western Union, Violin Memory, Hertz, and about a dozen others in the last couple of years.

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        December 18, 2013 5:04 PM

        [deleted]

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        December 18, 2013 8:48 PM

        I was wondering about this too. Getting a Class Action suit together takes a ton of time. Even if it happened today it wouldn't have had to been started before BF4 was released.

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        December 18, 2013 9:49 PM

        "In the last year these guys have filed against Microsoft, Western Union, Violin Memory, Hertz, and about a dozen others in the last couple of years."

        well, that's kind of their job

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          December 19, 2013 10:25 AM

          So, their job is to file dozens of class action suits against any company whose stock has gone down, which is every company eventually, hoping to find plaintiffs and further hoping a judge will let the lawsuit go ahead and then hoping the company will settle out of court because it is cheaper than fighting it. I have not played the game and could care less if EA gets sued everyday but this is still a meaningless lawsuit brought by a law firm that does nothing but identical class action lawsuits against any company who has lost stock value. Look up the firm, every filing is identical except for the dates and names of the companies they are suing and in every case they are looking for plaintiffs which means they are ambulance chasing. A few months ago my car was hit while it was parked and I was not in it and less than a week later I got a letter from a law firm, who clearly just goes through the police blotter, asking me if I wanted to sue over my injuries, this is the same thing on a larger scale. If this was people who wanted a refund because of a bad experience or actual shareholders suing over mismanagement that would be one thing but these are people just trying to make money off of other peoples work by exploiting the legal system.

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      December 18, 2013 4:59 PM

      can we please re-direct this rage to egosoft

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        December 18, 2013 5:03 PM

        sir this only happens via EA/Dice there is nothing else to talk about since there are no other buggy releases

        nothing has ever been delayed either, as long as we're talking about game devs

        /waves hand

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      December 18, 2013 5:16 PM

      It's EA. we should all be used to mediocre, rushed games, that crash at startup..

      Forget BF4, im going to play SimCity.......oh wait.....damn

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      December 18, 2013 6:59 PM

      Why the hell Bethesda has never faced one, I'll never understand.

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        December 18, 2013 7:07 PM

        Because they're a private company and don't have shareholders to account to.

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          December 18, 2013 7:58 PM

          BREAKING: Cal Ripken sues Bethesda for Fallout 4 crashes

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          December 18, 2013 8:16 PM

          Yeah. I'm sure if they weren't this firm would have targeted them years ago.

          Say what you will about Bethesda though, at least they complete the story content before they push a game out the door.

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          December 18, 2013 9:05 PM

          Private companies absolutely have SHs to account to/for. What Bethesda doesn't have, as EA has in this case, is public SHs to account to/for.

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        December 19, 2013 4:01 AM

        Let's just wait for TESO. Although there won't be publich shareholders, some investors are going to be royally pissed.

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      December 18, 2013 7:58 PM

      There's a new patch for ps4. Just played a bunch of conquest maps and no crashes! Also server queuing!

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      December 18, 2013 9:33 PM

      Since the last PC client patch, I'm not crashing.

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        December 19, 2013 12:32 AM

        Exactly. It took them almost 2 months to fix it.

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      December 18, 2013 11:00 PM

      Good. I hope they lose.

      It's not about how buggy or crashy the game was, or how it compares to other games really. IMHO BF4 was/is worse than Bethesda games, Simcity etc simply because the client side software wasn't finished and it crashes. In-game bugs and server overloading woes are one thing, but having the entire client side software thing shut down every few moments is another.

      Anyway, that's almost besides the point. What bothers me about this launch is that there is no way that EA didn't know the game wasn't stable. The crashing was way too common and way too frequent for QA to have missed it, simply not possible. Still, they launched. To me, that's damn near fraud, if not all the way there.

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        December 19, 2013 6:20 AM

        This is an industry thing and something that annoys me about services versus manufactured products. A power tool or vehicle that failed this often would be clearly defective, yet your ISP can get away with awful service; publishers begin to rely on day one patches etc

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          December 19, 2013 9:41 AM

          This is more than just an "industry" problem though. It's as if nobody has stopped to consider what software is. An ISP is invariably a service, and the problem with a service is that good/bad quality can be subjective. Whereas a broken tool is just that, broken. Software, I argue, is like a tool and be functioning or non-functioning but it's often treated like a "service" and the problems are ignored. If you bought a board game and half of them caught fire part way through a play session and you had to put it out that would be considered a failure. But because it's installed on a harddrive and you can't throw it in the dumpster people seem to not realize it's still a tool.

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      December 19, 2013 3:54 AM

      This is ridiculous....no stock is guaranteed to go up.
      also, I've been playing BF4 since black friday, I've only had 2 "crashes", and I think they were on the server end, so the game isn't buggy for EVERYONE.

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        December 19, 2013 5:09 AM

        Indeed. Before the latest patch, out of a core group of 5 people I play the game with actively, only 3 of us crashed constantly, one every now and then, and one not at all! Now, after the latest patch, we almost even finished a whole round without one of us crashing. Would have been the first! So close to perfection, to true consumer nirvana! What a great product! How could people be upset about this?

        If there's one type of white knighting I don't get, it's this. Ok, it works great for you. But would you still not agree that it's bad form, to say the least, to release a game when you know it will not work for a good portion of the customers?

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          December 19, 2013 6:22 AM

          Jimvolks post is a classic case of it works for me fuck everyone else.

          Clearly software can be defective for many but not all, is it only broken if it works for NOBODY?

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      December 19, 2013 6:28 AM

      They released it when they did to beat CoD:Ghosts to market, that's it. If they weren't rushing to beat Ghosts they'd be rushing to get it out before Christmas. The industry is driven by dates because of sales. Want to sell fewer games and release a better product? Become Valve.

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      January 4, 2014 6:26 AM

      Rightfully so!

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