EA Being Taken To Court Over Broken Battlefield Promise

EA Being Taken To Court Over Broken Battlefield Promise

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.


    • I would like to offer my services as proof reader for Kotaku Australia. Because right now your articles are filled with silly errors like this every single day. Batman Forever did not feature Arnie as Mr. Freeze. That was Batman And Robin.

      • The only problem is, these types of articles are generally written by the Kotaku US staff, not the AU staff.

        It’s quite odd to see the original site producing lower quality articles than the Australian branch, which posts some fantastic and beautifully written pieces.

  • Usually I’m impatient with lawsuits like this, but they’ve got an excellent point in this one and it’s only through this sort of recourse that EA might actually take care not to mislead its customers. Still, I think it’s better if a regulator took care of this rather than a private action.

    • This lawsuit certainly has merit. If EA were to simply get away with it it would set a dangerous precedent for future announcements and their trustworthiness.

      Saints Row: The Third got busted not including it’s promised PS3 exclusives, they made up for it by giving away the previous game in the series. EA offering up one week early access to DLC is absolute horseshit in comparison.

      • Sure, on the merits it’s a decent case. But what do you reckon the costings will be to run that (assuming EA doesn’t cave)? Sounds like a legal firm chasing a payday. I mean unless we’re pleading US-fantasy-land mental anguish.. after fees are taken into account I don’t see much happening here.

        Oh and good luck proving causation. IE – If it weren’t for EA’s promise, people wouldn’t have bought the game. But they would have bought it on another console!!! Oh, so they’d buy the game anyway, the bonus offer obviously didn’t mean much to them.. etc etc.

        • Causation is the elephant in the room in class actions. This is part of the reason why I said I thought a regulator was the best party to take this action.

  • Give it away give it away give it away now.
    Give it away give it away give it away now.
    Give it away give it away give it away now.

  • BF 1943 was promised on PC when it was first announced, but it never came through, so really curious to see how this turns out

    • yeah but you suffered no loss from purchasing any of their offers for 1943, so you don’t have a case. They never ‘offered’ you any product, so to speak (in legalese).

  • I already have BF1943 (great game btw, probably good way to teach people to fly planes), so it’s no loss to me, but honestly i dont see why they didnt announce changes till after someone asked them after release. Heck i even asked people who picked up the game on release if BF1943 was on the disc, and many said they had totally forgotten about the promise, simply because it wasnt advertised after they announced it. Im interested to see how this turns out

  • too bad they all signed away their rights at a class action suit last time they updated their PS3, More people should read the EULA. This is going to get thrown out of court in a heartbeat.

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