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EA Under Investigation For Battlefield 4 Over Investor Losses

Battle in the court.

Battlefield 4 hasn’t had the smoothest of launches, with DICE halting all work on DLC until the main game was patched, then Premium members demanding refunds for not getting the promised content. Now it looks like the Battefield 4 saga will extend to the boardroom as law firm Holzer Holzer & Fistel LLC has begun an investigation into the publisher’s dealings.

The firm is looking into claims made by EA over the investment potential of Battlefield 4 and whether the company is in breach US federal securities laws. Those who purchased stock between July 24th 2013 and December 4th 2013 then suffered losses have been encouraged to contact the law firm over the issue.

I’ve contacted Holzer Holzer & Fistel regarding the investigation, so hopefully we’ll learn more soon.

Source: Business Wire

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  1. gazzagb
    Master of speling mitakse
    Since: Feb 2009

    What laws are there? Surely the whole point of the stock market is that it’s based upon risk; you can earn money, you can lose money.
    Just because a game didn’t do as well as they thought means they broke a law did they?

    Comment posted on 12/12/2013 at 23:01.
    • Nocure-fd
      Since: Mar 2010

      Guess it depends on what it said on the contract they signed.

      If they guaranteed a 10% return on investment, and then didn’t deliver. The reasons why really wouldn’t matter from a legal standpoint.

      Comment posted on 12/12/2013 at 23:36.
    • colmshan1990
      Since: Apr 2009

      Maybe releasing a buggy mess of a game (and messing up the DLC plans as well) means EA didn’t deliver on the product they claimed they would release?

      If the investors gave them the money they held up their end of the deal. EA had to produce a quality game which would earn them and their investors money.

      The fact that the game was broken, essentially unfinished, and future plans were affected due to the DLC delay…

      You could argue that EA did not deliver on their end of the deal.

      Comment posted on 13/12/2013 at 00:25.
    • Scythegpd
      Since: Jul 2010

      It depends in what they were promised when investing.
      I bet one thing was a WORKING game. The game has been broken to date, that would have impacted investor returns and responsibility lies solely with EA.
      The big question will be what claims EA made about the game quality to the investors and whether they met those claims.

      Comment posted on 13/12/2013 at 08:15.
    • xdarkmagician
      Since: May 2009

      fraud. theres a few obscure SEC laws that firms tippy toe around but in the short fraud: the act of misleading for financial gains.

      But from what I read the other day I think this firm is trying to prove that EA was negligent for how they managed the BF4 development and that because of that mismanagement EA lost money. Its basically the same reason Activision sued EA/West/Zampella for “damaging” CoD because MW2 was kinda broke.
      Its not about the real money, its about the imaginary money they could have made if BF4 wasn’t labeled “broken”.

      Although its nice to know that when a game this broken is released someone is willing to fight for the millionaires who could have made more if only more people were willing to buy broken games. ;P

      IMO- EA definitely hurt themselves and the investors, but their investors should have known who they were investing in, since pretty much every gamer knows EA ships broken games the investors should have known that too.

      Comment posted on 13/12/2013 at 09:13.
      • xdarkmagician
        Since: May 2009

        Also I think the first 3 replies above are confused about how stock markets work :) Theres no guarantees, no promises, no contracts. Theres an inherent risk in stock, nothing is guaranteed, its gambling, not banking. You invest and take risk, companies can only be held liable for a loss if you can prove that their negligence or criminal actions lead to your loss. ROI promises, contracts and guarantees can only exist in private investments between individuals. The NYSE is public trading, you can’t promise 1/2 the public something and the other 1/2 nothing, its illegal. The only promise in stock is that all stock is equal and companies have to follow SEC fair trade regulations. Civil court here allows for recoupping a loss if someone is negligent for said loss, and you only have to prove that to 51%, not the 100% of guilt in criminal court. Remember these are American laws, a country where O.J. Simpson was found innocent of murder in a criminal court, but negligent for the victims deaths in civil court. :)

        Comment posted on 13/12/2013 at 10:50.
      • Scythegpd
        Since: Jul 2010

        Eh, speak for yourself about being confused about how stock markets work.
        The core issue will be how they presented the investment potential of the product versus the final product provided.
        Stock price is based on the expected future performance of the company, which is based on the information available to investors.
        In the last few investor calls EA made certain claims about BF4 and it’s expected performance and quality. If they can prove EA misled investors with this information, which in turn increased the investor confidence, then they would have a case to answer. As essentially EA misled the investors about the future strength of the company based on misleading product information.

        Granted that’s a highly summarised view but no point going into the technicalities of it considering the vast majority of people aren’t finance qualified so won’t understand anyway (it’s like a developer talking specs)

        Comment posted on 13/12/2013 at 12:36.
      • xdarkmagician
        Since: May 2009

        I wasn’t trying to insult you, just pointing out that as long as EA followed the rules and did everything in their power to a reasonable degree that they’re not to blame if they didn’t meet expectations. sorry.

        Just because EA projected 100 million sales doesn’t mean you get to sue them because they only sold 10 million. Is the game broken, IMO- yes, but so is every game. Broken is going to be impossible to prove. Your idea of broken is going to be different from my idea of broken. A chain is broken if 1 link is missing. Is a game broken just because 1 line of code missing? obviously if that line prevents the game from loading, but what happens when only 1 game mode has server issues. If the game crashes once or twice? I see friends playing BF4, so it has to work to some degree.
        Do I personally think EA should be punished for BF4, yes, but I’m biased by EAs past exploits also.

        You don’t get to sue for stock loss just because you lost money. If you could, this firm would all ready be suing EA, instead of trying to see if EA broke any laws or if investors were intentionally mislead. It doesn’t matter what people were “promised” just as long as EA took reasonable action to try to fulfill their obligations within the specs of the law. It all boils down to what EA did, not what they promised.

        Besides, this is all pointless anyways as EA executives will just take smaller bonuses and spice up the dividend checks so the board doesn’t fire them for incompetence. This is more about trying to get a major shareholder to say, “Yea, they intentionally mislead us, he’s the proof” so some 2-bit ambulance chasing law firm can get a quick payday. As its a law firm doing the investigation, not the SEC.
        I’m willing to bet EA told the investors everything and it was decided that not shipping BF4 would have been more detrimental than releasing a buggy game. ’cause as I said earlier, everybody knew this was going to happen, what is it, the 4th year in a row EA released a broken “big-time fall game” .

        Comment posted on 13/12/2013 at 20:34.
  2. blarty
    Since: Apr 2011

    Ah, that old American Dream where in America any person. no matter what their standing or walk of life can get their asses sued off by lawyers, just because

    Comment posted on 13/12/2013 at 09:29.

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