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RPGWatch Forums » General Forums » Off-Topic » EA sued. Again. This time by shareholders.

Default EA sued. Again. This time by shareholders.

December 19th, 2013, 12:36
http://www.3news.co.nz/EA-sued-by-sh…8/Default.aspx

What did they do now? It's said they've "issued materially false and misleading statements".
In fact, they've released a halffinished and bug flooded game - Battlefield 4.

I really don't care who'll win this case, but am hoping this will start a trend of killing released bug-o-ramas just because the greedy publisher decided that there is no need to polish a product and pay devs some more.

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December 19th, 2013, 12:43
EA forced DICE to rush this out the door and it's nice to see them paying a price for it.
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December 19th, 2013, 12:50
Whew … when I saw the NZ domain that this was happening outside the US. I believe we have a patent on nonsensical, frivolous lawsuits, and I would expect our government to go after anyone who tries to muscle in on our monopoly! Fortunately it is in the US … business as usual, carry on …

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December 19th, 2013, 13:03
Effectively, the allegation is that Electronic Arts "issued materially false and misleading statements" regarding the quality of Battlefield 4, leading to strong financial guidance which in turn meant the company's share prices rose.

The complaint further alleges that Electronic Arts executives sold shares at the inflated prices, before the stock abruptly fell once the game was available and the many problems players have been having with the title first became apparent.
Atleast they made nice profit for themselves. Thats what executing is all about, making lots of money for yourself.

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December 19th, 2013, 13:05
And that's why they always own the greatest part of all stock.

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December 19th, 2013, 13:41
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
Atleast they made nice profit for themselves. Thats what executing is all about, making lots of money for yourself.
My sarcasm aside, the real issue is if EA *knew* BF4 was a mess but made misleading statements about the state of the game that drove up the stock price and expectations … and those with the real information sold shares for profit during the period when only they knew the truth - that is 'insider trading' and is a pretty big deal.

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December 19th, 2013, 14:01
It might be a big deal outside of the company - but it's not for those "insiders", or they wouldn't have done it.

"Greed is - for the lack of a better word - good."

And that's why everyone begins at one point to copy the behaviour of these great symbols of capitalism.

We should really stop making "insider trade" being a crime. If they do it, it must be legal.

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December 19th, 2013, 15:03
While probably most people here know how much I dislike EA, I think this is not so simple in this case. EA probably had agreement to release it at the time of the new consoles release.
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December 19th, 2013, 15:31
GG, sorry, but IMO there is no excuse to force bug-o-rama on shelves.
Of course they're not the first who did it. JoWood made the same scandalous decision with G3 for example. Did anyone sue JoWood? No. Others with same "business strategy" were also left in peace. And it is happening in years now, almost every bloody AAA game release is buggy. It's not about design (please don't say that openworld has to be buggy as proper betatesting would solve it - if they payed to betaterters) but about not caring for fans.

But finally someone got sued for selling a halfbaked cake. What made the news viral all over the planet (I've put a random link from NZ, but if you google, you'll spot it's everywhere) is that the company sued for bugs "materially false" whatnot is not some small studio but big fat EA itself.

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December 19th, 2013, 16:10
It's not a matter of an "excuse" but I find it very probably that they signed a deal with MS / Sony to release at the same time of new consoles, so it might mean they didn't have much of a choice.
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December 19th, 2013, 16:57
Going by the article, the complains is that Battlefield 4 didn't sale as much as expected which caused the EA share to lose value after expectation where not meet. They blame the low sales on the game being bugged and blame the Exec because they should have known because they sold their share when the market was high.

I understood that correctly right?

Just wow!
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December 19th, 2013, 18:47
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
Going by the article, the complains is that Battlefield 4 didn't sale as much as expected which caused the EA share to lose value after expectation where not meet. They blame the low sales on the game being bugged and blame the Exec because they should have known because they sold their share when the market was high.

I understood that correctly right?

Just wow!
There's actually two angles there.

The first, covered by the lawsuit, is based on fraud. EA knowingly shipped an incomplete product which did not meet the standards defined by their advertising. IMO, that's going to be a tough one to prove since the plaintiffs will have to show that the failure has nothing to do with their expectations but rather with satisfying the terms of their sales contract with the consumer.

The second angle, introduced by txa (but not (I think) included in the lawsuit), is insider trading. The EA execs sold stock immediately prior to the game's release which would reasonably be expected to cause the stock price to tank. Execs have all sorts of regulations controlling their sale of company stock, so it should be fairly easy to determine if they followed those rules. It's entirely possible that they filed a stock sale 3 months before it actually went through, which would make the transactions 100% legal, if conveniently opportunistic. Given gamers' opinions on EA, we'd just assume they're crooks. Hard to say where the truth lies.

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December 19th, 2013, 19:38
People might forget that EA might have had to pay MS/Sony delay damages for not releasing their product on time if a deal between the companies was involved.

This could have been of considerable importance when deciding whether or not to release the game on time.
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December 19th, 2013, 21:37
I've never heard of any lawsuit being won for releasing a buggy or unfinished product.

Not Windows 95, not Ultima 9, nothin'

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December 19th, 2013, 22:27
Well the practice has become so bad, that I think our only recourse is to involve the law. Too bad corporate crooks that can hide won't pay the price; we, the consumers, always end up holding the bag…
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December 20th, 2013, 02:02
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
I've never heard of any lawsuit being won for releasing a buggy or unfinished product.

Not Windows 95, not Ultima 9, nothin'
They dont sue because the product was unfinished. They sue because they did not make the money they expected when others did.
If this succeeds, better to switch to the ethical small business type to release unfinished or buggy products. For big business, shareholders will lurk around waiting for their return.
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December 20th, 2013, 09:44
If they had made statements how buggy the game is, they would have been sued for torpedoing their own business and for destroying shareholder value.

Interesting situation. If this really goes to court and EA has to pay (probably they'll settle before a judgement), it could have far reaching consequences for other publishers. Especially smaller publically listed publishers would have to aim lower with their games, to make sure they're actually finished upon release. JoWooD for example simply couldn't afford to delay G3 any longer.
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December 20th, 2013, 22:18
More fuel to fire as it seems more Lawsuits are on the way, but that's not all some of the employees speak out about the state of the game.
“When a code that’s not “thread-safe” executes on multiple sources, it’s a coincidence if it works or if it crashes. All the codes become “timing dependant” and different hardware combined with different background processes and OS’s, have different timing. “

"Unfortunately, if you have a certain CPU and you run a certain OS and at the same time you run a certain background process, you could get “bad timing” more often than other people, Timing that will cause the game to crash or other bugs."

“In other words, the beta test should’ve been tried on a broader spectrum of machines before release. As in: “We needed more time.”
Link- http://pcgmedia.com/dice-employee-ex…field-4-buggy/

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Last edited by Couchpotato; December 20th, 2013 at 22:46.
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December 20th, 2013, 22:42
Am I evil because I'm happy to hear that?

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December 20th, 2013, 22:44
Those are some of the hardest bugs to troubleshoot, but once you know what's wrong, it's usually easy to fix.

First of all, they shouldn't be writing code that has hardcoded times (implicit or explicit) for most stuff, except for the most fundamental parts of the embedded code (like watchdog timers in fault protection). There's too many timing differences across platforms, OS's, CPUs, GPUs, etc.
Second, they should have code walkthoughs for code that needs to be thread safe. There's no way they can test everything under all circumstrances on all possible combinations of platform, hardware variances, OS's, etc, etc, per the above.

Standard good software practices seem to be ignored in the gaming industry (or at least by DICE). :/
Last edited by Thrasher; December 20th, 2013 at 22:57.
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