EA promised PS3 owners a free copy of Battlefield 1943 when they picked up Battlefield 3. When they didn’t come through, they upset a lot of gamers, both for the bait-and-yank and for the shoddy manner with which it was announced.
And they might have got away with it, too, if it wasn’t for those darned lawyers.
The publisher is being taken to court by firm Edelson McGuire, who today filed a class action suit against EA on behalf of disgruntled PS3 owners.
At the heart of the case is not the fact EA reneged on its offer, but that it was announced so late (after people had already picked up the copy) and announced so poorly (it was only announced via Twitter, meaning many customers never saw the explanation). It also calls EA out on its shoddy “make up” deal, pointing out that offer had been made, and as such had nothing to do with compensation for the loss of Battlefield 1943.
The suit ultimately alleges that EA “misled and profited from thousands of their customers by making a promise that they could not, and never intended, to keep”.
In terms of what those taking part in the case are after, while the standard legalese terms like “compensatory relief” apply, the lawyers involved tell Kotaku that in practical terms all those involved are after is the free copy of Battlefield 3 they were promised.
While legal complaints over free games may sound stupid, in this case, it’s not. The offer of a free copy of Battlefield 1943 will have enticed thousands of customers to pick up the PlayStation 3 copy of the game at the expense of other platforms. For EA to then not deliver on that promise, and to not reveal this until the game was already in people’s hands, will have left gamers who may otherwise have preferred to play the game on Xbox 360 or PC high and dry.