Battlefield 4 Problems Have Shareholder Law Firm Thinking Lawsuit

Battlefield 4 Problems Have Shareholder Law Firm Thinking Lawsuit

A law firm that appears to specialise in suing publicly traded companies suffering publicly embarrassing problems has turned its attention to Electronic Arts, specifically over Battlefield 4.

The “investigation” that Atlanta firm Holzer Holzer & Fistel has begun concerns whether EA “complied with federal securities laws” when the company was making statements about Battlefield 4 during its development and after its release. It’s not a lawsuit, but sure sounds like the threat of one. It could also be PR for a firm dedicated to this kind of work.

Battlefield 4 has had several problems since its launch, of course, from laggy netcode plaguing online play to repeated crashes on all platforms. Several patches have been pushed out, with many more fixes and solutions in the works, but the bug-swatting operation is large and conspicuous enough that Electronic Arts said it would not build any new expansions or DLC for Battlefield 4 until it solved these problems.

That statement, to Kotaku, was dated December 4; the law firm said it’s looking into statements made between July 24 and December 4. It didn’t say what specifically was problematic about EA’s statements.

The firm touts its focus on shareholder representation, and in the past six weeks has opened three other investigations, including one on Monday into Barnes & Noble, whose stock price dropped after the SEC announced it was investigating improper accounting practices there.

Electronic Arts’ stock price has dropped about $US4 since November 12, and lost $US2 the day after its December 4 remarks on postponed DLC plans. It still is more than $US5 higher than where it was at this time last year, and in September reached a five-year high.

Reached by Kotaku, Electronic Arts declined to comment on the firm’s activity.

Holzer Holzer & Fistel, LLC Announces Investigation into Electronic Arts, Inc. [News release via Wall Street Journal]


  • So they should too. The product was in no state for release when it made it onto shelves.

    That said, I don’t think EA’s name could be soiled any more than it already is anyway. 😛

    • I’ve got it on PC, and other than a crash after 3 straight hours of gameplay (multi 64-player only) in the first 2 weeks of release I haven’t had any of the problems being reported.
      In these situations, keep in mind that for every person screaming about it at the top of their lungs, there’s usually ten people happily playing the game.

      • I’m playing on PS3 and while I’ve had the occasional crash / glitch here and there, overall I’ve found it to be in much, much better shape than BF3 was when it launched.

      • I got something like a crash every 2 or so hours and the x64 version barely works at all. Apart from that the game’s not all that bad.

      • Same here, I’ve been playing every night on ps4. Had one crash in 2 weeks. But I have a mate playing the same amount and he’s having nothing but issues. I consider myself lucky, while it’s working for me it’s one kick arse game!

  • Don’t sue them…. use the money that would be spent on legal fees to assist in resolving the issues. Can’t we all just learn to co operate 😛

    • This. Imagine if the internet’s go-to reaction was positive and proactive instead of lawsuits, hate campaigns and witch hunts. How ace would that be?

      Also, doesn’t Origin have a (7 day?) refund policy? If BF4 is so bad and you’re so traumatised – get a refund.

      • Because people seem to think that bitching about it on the internet will resolve their issue, Whilst still playing the game anyway.

        Plus, A lot of people are going by the “If it wasn’t ready, It shouldn’t have been sold” motto – Which in this case is somewhat understandable.

        • I’m not a fan of games being released in a broken state at all – it’s unacceptable, for the most part. But I think being disappointed with a developer, going for a refund, and maybe being wary of future releases from said developer are all sufficient if you feel that strongly about it.

          Filing a lawsuit is just plain dickish, and proof you’re just after some money. How badly can a broken game affect you?

          • yeah I don’t appreciate being sold an incomplete product but I can’t see a lawsuit being anything other than detrimental, If there’s a problem try to fix it, pool your resources together don’t just create new problems. I know the world doesn’t work that way but wouldn’t it be nice.
            Edit: I just like Battlefield and want it to be the best game it can be 😛

          • It isn’t dickish at all and has no basis in terms of mental anguish etc. They are investigating if shareholders in EA/DICE/BF4 have course for legal action over the way BF4 was developed.

            If you invested and your funds were misused or if EA in anyway did not deliver on their promises then you would have grounds for legal action depending on the circumstances.
            Quite a few people have revealed that DICE may have asked for more time and that EA turned them down and made them ship the product unfinished to meet the Christmas quarter.

            As for EA itself: Gamers have united in great number when it comes to the way EA has handled itself in the past, but they have proved time and time again that money is more important than fans. Perhaps it’s time they were shown that if they want to continue playing the game developing fool, then they do it at their own expense, literally.

          • Even if it does concern shareholders – isn’t that part of the risk of buying shares? Surely suing the company you hold shares in can’t be common place or a healthy precedent? I’m not exactly knowledgable on the subject, I’ll freely admit. It doesn’t sound right to me though.

          • exactly. people seem to think that there is something like risk free investment. That’s impossible. There is always a risk. Shares are some of the most volatile investments possible.
            It’s a bunch of people having a moan at a slight fall in share price. Like the article said, it’s still up $5 from last year.
            It’s like suing the government for a high currency. As for EA’s decisions regarding DICE, spend some time in the workforce and you’ll see the world of business ins’t fantasy land. People have to make money and people have meet deadlines. If you can’t meet them you end up costing more money.
            At the end of the day gaming is huge business. It’s both a massive cash cow and a huge investment. Developers need return on those investments.
            The only thing we can do as customers is vote with our wallet. Example: I played heaps for BF3 but I got bored after the second expansion (I had premium). This time, premium was more expensive and I knew I’d probably get bored after a few months so I haven’t bought premium yet. That’s voting with my wallet. Do I regret buying BF4? Nope. I’ve had fun, it’s more than paid for itself. Could it be better? sure, every game ever made “could” be better. Am I going to sue someone about it? No.

          • It seems like when you refer to “people” it means everyone but you. I’m not sure how you believe your understanding of the stock market but it seems there’s a little uncertainty all around. Downplaying “A slight fall” and insinuating that professional stockbrokers and investors somehow don’t understand the concept of “risk” or business as well as you do is a sort of strange assumption to make as well.

            It seems to me people would rather not see complaining on the internet than be treated fairly as a consumer. It’s also baffling that people are insinuating that we shouldn’t hold corporations or large businesses to a similarly stringent standard that they hold towards us. There’s a ridiculous amount of hyperbole on the internet from people informing everyone that consumers have extensive rights when it comes to conflict with larger business entities and on paper it may look remotely true, though in practice the truth couldn’t be farther. I’m not saying we start witch hunts but there are a great deal of enablers out there that have a bigger problem against complaining in general than actually what people are complaining about. I just don’t think the whole “shut up and take it” approach to conflict is as progressive as they seem to think.

          • Yes, that’s what they investigate. If the result was fault of risk or fault of the company through what ever means.

        • If you don’t think it’s ready, don’t buy it. Just like any movie, tv show, song, or product. If you’re an early adopter, you take the risk that there may be issues.
          As long as it’s not falsely advertised or the company is unwilling to help the it’s all pretty normal. I didn’t hear any lawsuits being thrown around regarding the GTA online clusterfuck.

      • Too many people are self entitled pricks. It’s hard enough to publish an AAA game these days, they’re never perfect at launch.
        I challenged someone before to show me a huge AAA title, across multiple platforms, primarily mulitplayer which had a perfectly smooth, bug free launch. I’m still waiting.

        I’m not saying it’s a good thing. I’m not saying it should be accepted. I’m sure they could do better, but everyone has time and cost constraints. As long as they are dedicated to fixing it, that’s the important thing. Personally I’ve only had the odd crash every couple of days. Nowhere enough to even bother me.

  • It’s interesting where marketing for a product interacts with people investing in the parent company.

    On the face of it, it seems EA and DICE rushed the game out with proper testing or due diligence. That this has had on going effects which has hurt the value of the company. Is this an unfortunate circumstance or was EA aware of the problems and / or knowingly taking risks and a gamble that everything would come together fine at the last minute.

    There is potentially something here.

    • They’re not suing, they’re “investigating” my guess is so they can try and gee up the investors into suing and take a slice of that pie.

      • Ah, the investors! I was wondering who was going to sue.

        I remember when games were all about fun. 😐

  • It just serves as ANOTHER indication of what a bunch of f*cktards EA are.

    So many of their problems are totally unnecessary products of their own greed and urge to exploit their own paying customers.

    I couldn’t play Battlefield on the Xbone for the first 48 hours after launch, for no other reason other than that I couldn’t log into EAs own online system (it was jammed for some reason). It wouldn’t be so bad if the EA system was in any way a benefit to gamers, but it’s not. It exists for no reason other than to allow EA to control and access my usage above and beyond the already very sufficient ‘walled garden’ of Xbox Live.
    I spent nearly 2 hours on hold waiting for support (none online) before giving up, the problem had fixed itself by the next day.

    It’s the same as Sim City – always online for no reason but to benefit EA – and it f*cks up and their customers are the ones who cop it.

    • “…first 48 hours after launch…it was jammed for some reason”
      Think you might have answered that one yourself, chief.

      • Xbox Live is a beneficial service which was being used by every single person who bought an Xbone that day (and probably some 360 users too).
        EA’s online walled-garden contributes absolutely NOTHING to the user.

        If Xbox Live had gone down (which happens extremely rarely) I would have been annoyed but would have forgiven them.
        For Live to work fine but then I can’t play my launch day game because EA’s useless system is down is pathetic.

        For the record, it was an issue with logging into my online account. The system is smart enough to link to my Xbox Live account, but not smart enough to automatically log me in. The system was up because it was giving me feedback (telling me incorrect passwords and the like) but wouldn’t response when I tried to finish the process.

  • Good Sue EA for everything.

    EA will be forced to sell off their IP’s and quality developers would be able to pick these up and make them good again.

    imagine that

  • Theyre suing (sorry, investigating) on behalf of the share holders.
    Not for the gamers. Not for the people who actually bought the game which helped line the share holders pockets.

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