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Law Firm Investigates Electronic Arts on Battlefield 4 About Compliance with Federal Securities Laws

by on December 10, 2013 8:11 PM 33

Law Firm Holzer Holzer & Fistel sent a press release announcing an investigation on statements issued by Electronic Arts and some of its executives between July 24th, 2013 and December 4th, 2013 about the development and sales Battlefield 4 and the game’s impact on the company’s revenue and future projects.

Apparently the investigation aims to uncover possible lack of compliance of said statements with Federal Securities laws.

While no specific information was provided on what the statements under investigation actually said, or on what laws may have been broken, the firm encouraged investors that purchased EA stock during the period mentioned and suffered losses on that investment to contact them.

The most probable reason behind the investigation is that EA’s enthusiastic statements on Battlefield 4 may have made its stock look more tempting for investors compared to its realistic value, which can be ground for a lawsuit or worse. Of course this is just my personal speculation, so take it with a grain of salt, as we can’t draw any conclusion until any official results are announced.

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  • James

    Uhh…so based on how well BF3 did they expected it to be bigger than that game yet it wasn’t. How in anyway is this worthy of a lawsuit? This happens all the time.

    • DarthDiggler

      Investors need to learn to take their wins and their losses. There are no guarantees and it’s not against the law to release a game with bugs.

      • chitown

        There should be a law against releasing software that is so buggy as to be unplayable, and not allow it to be returned as defective.

        • Averix

          Agreed. I couldn’t even play the game after downloading it. Crashed 1 min into the campaign. If they put out these inflated statements knowing the game was a bug ridden mess, they should be sued.

          • Jason

            Plays fine on my pc.

          • DarthDiggler

            While no specific information was provided on what the statements under investigation actually said, or on what laws may have been broken, the firm encouraged investors that purchased EA stock during the period mentioned and suffered losses on that investment to contact them.

            You do realize this is a lawyer just fishing for business right? The fact that they haven’t even announced EA’s wrongdoing showcases they don’t have a case they just fishing.

            Many games get released with bugs it’s not against the law. It is up to each company to fix them, EA and DICE so far have a good reputation for fixing problems with their games (they have had some doo-sies too). One can argue they are not fast enough, but suggesting EA is doing little to deal with this is laughable.

          • Alex Cunningham

            Dude you are spot on except seem to have more patience to explain it in detail. People need to make more wise informed decisions before purchasing, or if you do like me :) don’t complain about it. Yes at some point a companie can be and probably should be held liable, but I don’t think we are there. So next time EA releases a game either boycott it altogether or wait to buy it after all the gullible people find out its crap. This all stems from a larger problem of people not accepting responsibility for there own actions. Its always someone else’s fault. thats just not how life does or should work. Learn to be a better human being by facing the consequences. Funny this is all centered around a Video Game.

          • DarthDiggler

            @alex_cunningham:disqus

            You know if EA / DICE release a game that is truly unplayable, and they showed no signs of trying to fix it, there MAY be a case to be made than.

            No one in this industry operates that way, they couldn’t operate that way and survive, which negates the need for laws. :)

            The free market works as long as you put your money where your mouth is. Either stop bitching or stop buying, you can’t have it both ways and not be a total douche.

        • Alex Cunningham

          If they do that than they should probably pass a new more enforceable law to crack down on the amount of pirating people do and how much people burn and steal games. its not a victimless crime. Game has issues but if you invest in something be prepared to lose some money.

          • DarthDiggler

            I am not the biggest fan of piracy at all, I go by the old age adage of “if it doesn’t belong to you and you take it, it is stealing”.

            I love the argument that piracy advocates use that states “people mostly download stuff they wouldn’t buy anyways”. Well of course they won’t buy it, once you have what you want for free there is little motivation and incentive to buy it.

        • DarthDiggler

          @disqus_qeK6zRaGbW:disqus

          Look anyone who has played Battlefield in the past knows the game goes through several weeks of updates. Many of the issues with BF4 are similar to BF3 / BFBC2. There is just no way to beta test a deployment to millions of fans.

          There should be a law against releasing software that is so buggy as to be unplayable, and not allow it to be returned as defective.

          Why so law crazy?

          There is ample information about these games prior to release and just because you pre-ordered doesn’t mean you have to pick up the game on day 1. People can wait to pick up their pre-order until they are satisfied the network aspects of the game are functioning properly. The free market works fine but doesn’t not always reward the impatient.

          No one held a gun to anyone’s head and told them buy BF4 day 1 with BF4 Premium.

          The truth is EA/DICE will iron out these issues and it will likely be forgotten until the next DICE destruction based shooter is released and people will be all angry all over again acting like it has never happened before.

          Look we as gamers need to decide do we want our game experiences to be big, bombastic? If so we need to give the developers some slack to get things humming smoothly. If we are going to partake in lawsuits for every game that comes out buggy, you will see a deluge of people leave the industry, and for good reason.

          Suing EA / DICE over lost stock value over BF4 because it was buggy is like Suing George Lucas for Jar Jar Binks and Midiclorians. It’s really stupid. You paid for a $60 game on day one that has a huge following, you should not have a reasonable expectation that everything will run flawless, just by history being the indicator alone.

          Gamers need to adjust their expectations with reality and stop being so starry eyed and so disappointed when things don’t go 100% their way. This industry is filled with thousands of people who work long hours to deliver us great entertainment. If we the customer continue to show such little appreciation for the craft of creating games we may find ourselves with less options in software.

          Why anyone would want to get into the gaming biz these days is beyond me, they must not be looking for the reward of a happy customer. All you ever hear these days is people bitching NON STOP. The gaming media just feeds on this and it seems nearly cyclical.

          That being said — YES I am too becoming impatient with DICE, but that doesn’t mean I am thinking about hiring lawyers or I am on some campaign to bombard their social media with negative remarks. I can sit, wait and bitch or I can sit, wait and play some other games while DICE works it out (like they always have done in the past).

    • Corey

      I mean, it’s one thing if they blatantly false advertised. But that’s not really what happened.

      • DarthDiggler

        @disqus_wnGKnfWfFK:disqus

        Exactly, the fact is since BF3 came out (and had similar issues for several weeks after launch) the series has expanded it’s audience. I am afraid that we are starting to see more of the over-entitled gamer attitude present here rather than your traditional BF fan. Anyone who has played this series has known that launch issues are not really out of the ordinary.

        • Corey

          launch issues aren’t out of the ordinary for ANY game that is online, and launches and has millions of players. COD black ops had lots of problems, BFBC1 & 2 had lots of problems, BF3, I can’t really think of any online game that didn’t have problems on launch. Pretty much every game has lots of problems on launch when it’s a multiplayer game. Destiny will have lots of problems. The Division will have lots of problems. I don’t think people understand at all how complicated it is to launch something that massive without problems. I know I don’t fully. But I DO know that it’s not simple.

          I mean, like DICE has said before….they can play test TONS themselves….but they just won’t ever find everything. 100 people play testing for months compared to MILLIONS of people playing online in a day….bugs are GOING to show up. And there’s NO way for them to find them all pre-release. I mean, they could have made no time frame for release and worked on the game for another year or two…..which might have been good….but it is what it is.

          If they released and said, “welp, that is all. Goodbye” Then ya…..everyone should rightfully be pissed. But they’re working on it and fixing them. Yes, it’s annoying. But seriously…..relax…and be patient people. Did they sell you an incomplete product? Yes. Are you stuck with it? No. Because they’re completing it. And you’re not having to pay extra for them to complete the product. So the idea that “you’re getting screwed” isn’t really true.

          • DarthDiggler

            Granted my patience is wearing thin. :)

  • verity treacle

    if you invest in a company that that has a policy for releasing titles that are clearly not finished your getting everything you deserve… this is what gaming is now like you release stuff that aint working properly you’ll loose money… Simple!

    • DarthDiggler

      @veritytreacle:disqus

      Please read my above comment to

      ISISSecretAgent

      • verity treacle

        “These problems are nothing new, they are just deployment issues. When you deploy your client / server software solution to millions of users you are bound to uncover unforeseen problems.”

        – and dont you think its about time they learnt from previous products released… its not like this is a new unknown software development company

        • DarthDiggler

          @veritytreacle:disqus

          How much game development experience do you have? How much software developer experience do you have?

          You do realize that DICE had to develop this game for 2 additional systems that were not around when they created BF3. If you make ambitious changes to your engine you are going to run into problems.

          If you have all the answers why don’t you work for EA / DICE?

          I just love all these arm-chair game producers that seem to have all the answers.

          • verity treacle

            “How much software developer experience do you have?” – a lot more than you think…

  • ISISSecretAgent

    i hope investors get a juicy lawsuit against EA, even if its indirectly i hope it serves as a wake up call for them…

    i just cant believe how they tarnished DICE and the BF franchise just to release for the sake of selling and didnt matter the quality of the product. i guess to the suits in EA making a buck in short terms is better than a long stable run.
    also not saying DICE is victim here because they could make a stand or something instead of just giving the other cheek

    • DarthDiggler

      @ArcherDuchess:disqus

      Jesus another faux pallbearer for EA. What exactly makes you think that these issues won’t be worked out over the next few weeks?

      Where was this outrage when MOH: WF was experiencing similar issues?
      Where was this outrage when BF3 was experiencing similar issues?
      Where was this outrage when MOH was experiencing similar issues?
      Where was this outrage when BFBC2 was experiencing similar issues?

      These problems are nothing new, they are just deployment issues. When you deploy your client / server software solution to millions of users you are bound to uncover unforeseen problems. Which is why we are getting a steady stream of client than server updates.

      I am kind of sick of the anti-EA knee-jerk comments. Look if all the people who were Anti-EA didn’t buy their games EA likely wouldn’t be in business. If you buy EA games and you are Anti-EA you are doing the Anti-EA thing all wrong. I am not 100% happy with EA, but I am not stupid enough to think a few bugs in a popular game is going to sink them.

      • ISISSecretAgent

        sorry to say this but BF3 and BC2 problems are a joke compared to BF4…

        and i like EA games unfortunately so is much of a pissed customer rant rather than a lets-hold-hands-lets-fight-the-power kind of thing… (BTW i skipped MOH:WF and MOH games so idk what issues those had also DS3 one of my favorite franchises because of the way they handled it)

        and what im trying to say here bro is that the only way for this huge corps. to give a flying crap about you or me is when they take a hit were they hurt the most. knowing full well all the issues BF games come with i bought the game 3 weeks after it was released on the PS4, it is fun as hell when it works but damn you paid $60 for a still in beta game son at some point you have to stop being too much of a sheep and complain about it

        • DarthDiggler

          sorry to say this but BF3 and BC2 problems are a joke compared to BF4…

          Oh really?

          https://www.google.com/search?q=battlefield+3+launch+issues&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

          https://www.google.com/search?q=battlefield+bad+company+2+launch+issues&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

          I assume you have an excel spreadsheet with a matrix comparing all the various launch issues of each game? If not what makes you think BF4 is worse?

          I played all of these games the MOH series had fewer issues but that series had MUCH less destruction. You do realize there is a reason why DICE is one of the only developers that has a game engine that is robust enough to simulate real-time destruction? Not saying they the only engine with destruction, but certainly theirs has to be the most played.

          These issues we are dealing with aren’t traditional bugs, for the most part people are able to boot the game and play it. Many of the issues are connectivity issues. You can’t simulate an environment of millions in a beta test. it’s not feasible.

          If you don’t have the stomach to weather some updates on a multuiplayer game I would suggest you stick with Single Player or Browser games.

          and i like EA games unfortunately so is much of a pissed customer rant
          rather than a lets-hold-hands-lets-fight-the-power kind of thing… (BTW
          i skipped MOH:WF and MOH games so idk what issues those had also DS3
          one of my favorite franchises because of the way they handled it)

          I don’t even understand what you are saying here. You seem to be jamming various thoughts into a few sentences.

          and what im trying to say here bro is that the only way for this huge
          corps. to give a flying crap about you or me is when they take a hit
          were they hurt the most

          Oh I see EA represents “The Man” to you. :) What’s wrong did the Occupy Wall Street party finally pack up and go home in your town and now you taking the fight to EA?

          You realize how the free marketplace and corporations work right? What deliberate actions has EA taken that make you feel they need to “take a hit where they hurt most”? Seriously I am not being provocative, I am curious what your answer is.

          Look the fact is these days dissing EA is chic. It’s the thing the cool kids do at the cool kids lunch table and no one wants to not be cool — right? :)

          The fact is if all you Anti-EA guys actually put your money where your mouth is, likely EA would feel a hit. You know what though talk is cheap and at the end of the day I think people are mostly satisfied with EA games.

          EA could be worse they could be cashing in on an aging game engine while not providing dedicated servers. Activision been doing that for an entire generation and no one seems to bat an eye.

          • ISISSecretAgent

            haha, man if im anti-ea and the cool kid what makes you then? you are like the same people that went ballistic when i complained of the DRM on the X1…

            i never wrote i wanted to see EA taken down, like you said yourself this companies dont come down easily but i hope this scare makes them improve

            im just upset about it because just like yourself i enjoy their games and i know a BF isnt Runescape mate and they cant cover all bases but the extra dev time and an a longer open beta wouldnt hurt a bit

          • DarthDiggler

            haha, man if im anti-ea and the cool kid what makes you then? you are like the same people that went ballistic when i complained of the DRM on the X1…

            Well your rant seems very anti-EA, and that is the en vogue thing since SimCity, bitch about EA. :) So my apologies. :)

            i never wrote i wanted to see EA taken down, like you said yourself this companies dont come down easily but i hope this scare makes them improve

            Well your comment could be taken that way…

            and what im trying to say here bro is that the only way for this huge corps. to give a flying crap about you or me is when they take a hit were they hurt the most

            Also what makes you think that EA doesn’t care? Do they have to go out and hug each of their customers to prove this? You don’t think they care about happy customers so the non-stop campaign will stop? You don’t think Happy Customers = Increased Profits?

            See this is where I have an issue with the average gamer and their understanding of free markets and basic economic principles. I can tell you as one who has worked for many small businesses that generally it is much harder to get new customers than to keep old ones. Suggesting that EA doesn’t care what it customers think is just plain illogical. EA is a public company that needs to generate value for the stock holders they can’t do that by screwing their customers over all the time. Releasing software with bugs in it is not that uncommon in any software development.

            What exactly should they improve? I believe that you are commenting on things that you really have no expertise on. I would even suggest that DICE is in a very unique position in the manner that their game is likely one of the more advanced multiplayer game engines with this sort of scale all the while hosting everything on dedicated servers (took Activision like 10 games to figure out dedicated servers are better than hosted servers).

            Every game DICE releases pushes envelopes. The change from BF2 -> Bad Company presented a huge shift with the destructibility. BF3 toned down a bit of the destruction to maintain some defensive positions, but they added mods to the weapons and customizable soldiers (camo). BF4 brings back the ComRose, adds commander. Every time you add a feature (or subtract one in some cases) you have an opportunity to break the game. I have heard of some developers that had thousands of lines of mostly unused code in their games that were not able to remove them because it would break the game, that is a sign of either extremely sloppy programming or a switch in programmers.

            im just upset about it because just like yourself i enjoy their games and i know a BF isnt Runescape mate and they cant cover all bases but the extra dev time and an a longer open beta wouldnt hurt a bit

            Don’t mistake my understanding of the situation as complete compliance, I too am upset, but I know (via history) this stuff will be ironed out. EA is not some fly by night entity.

            Every developer wants a long development time, but games have a schedule to be released on, and you don’t want to miss your window of release. Beta tests are only going to do so much they are great for finding actual software bugs and major connectivity issues, it’s not an issue of beta testing longer to help your deployment, you just can’t replicate a deployment involving millions of users in a beta. Short of having a Crystal Ball this is the best way at the moment.

            I just hope all this bitching doesn’t make DICE reconsider their Battlefield ambitions, I want them to push the envelope and you can’t do that if you are going to play it safe and guarantee to your audience everything will be 100% on day 1.

            BTW I want EA to make profit, that way they can hire more talented developers. Otherwise Activision may put them on the next texture upgrade for the COD series and that would be a shame!!! :)

          • ISISSecretAgent

            while we were arguing over here they released a patch that seems to fix the more pressing issues (PS4) lol

            played yesterday not a single crash and no rubberbanding/lag either

          • DarthDiggler

            I did have a bluescreen that corrupted my save, recovered my save from the cloud and popped AC4 in. I felt like the 1 hit kills were not fixed, it seemed different though, it was like all the bullets were coming at me at once. Like I would hardly see peeps shooting at me than in the “kill cam” they would be still shooting at me. It was like I was looking at history and not the present.

  • islan

    I’ll just pretend I know how stock exchanges work and be outraged.

  • dirkradke

    If the lawsuit is about what the author is talking about then proving such a reason could be pretty hard to prove. About the only way it would work is something like: EA saying they will sell millions by date X, when that many consoles haven’t even been sold or are expected to be sold by that date. I have no idea what the sales specifically are for PS4. Nor do I care. This is an example only. Say you will sell 4 million copies of BF4 on PS4 and there aren’t even 2 million PS4s by date X out there how can you justify the sales statement to buy EA stock? Yes, I know pre-orders can cover a lot of territory, but not 2 million if the requisite number of consoles don’t exist.

    • DarthDiggler

      Are you citing a speculative example or is that what really happened?

      • dirkradke

        “If the lawsuit is about what the author is talking about then proving such a reason could be pretty hard to prove.” — The very first sentence indicates it’s speculative.

  • Master Troll

    The game is buggy garbage and they have failed to fix it in a timely manner

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