Battlefield 4 issues invite shareholder lawsuit

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Issues surrounding Battlefield 4 and the subsequent decline in stock prices have led to an investor lawsuit targeting EA and few top men at the company including company CEO Andrew Wilson.

Battlefield 4 has been marred with problems since its launch, so much so that DICE announced that it has stopped all its current projects to concentrate on fixing the issues. The company has released several patches in quick succession in a bid to not only improve the gameplay experience, but also to improve the financial outlook of EA.

These measures haven’t been enough as securities law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP has filed a complaint [PDF] against EA in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that may results into a class action lawsuit against the company. The case has been filed by the law firm on behalf of Ryan Kelly and anyone else who purchased EA stock between July 24 and December 4 of this year.

The complaint claims that EA and its senior officials violated Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as they were well aware that the quality of Battlefield 4 wasn’t up to the mark and despite this made false statements and claims either knowingly or recklessly about the game.

The complaint alleges that the officials were well aware of the state of the game – buggy and incomplete mess – and despite that made public claims about the excellent progress and game quality. Stocks were sold by top EA officials including CEO Andrew Wilson in July just days after the investor call where EA executives claimed that the game was looking great. The complaint claims that Wilson knew what was going on in the inside and cashed in by selling off 40,000 shares while the hype about Battlefield 4 was still high.

As soon as the game was released, players and critics started complaining about the bugs – some so bad that they crashed the game completely. Further there were complaints about the inability to reliably find and stay connected to a multiplayer match as well.

EA stock fell steeply because of the buggy launch and the company started issuing statements that all other projects have been put on hold as developers have been moved to Battlefield 4 to resolve the bugs at priority.

Wilson sold off 40,000 shares when the prices were $25.50, which would have got him somewhere near $1million.

EA has disputed the claims made in the complaint and in an emailed statement to Gamasutra said, “We believe these claims are meritless. We intend to aggressively defend ourselves, and we’re confident the court will dismiss the complaint in due course.”