[UPDATE] We've updated the wording of the first paragraph to more accurately reflect the situation.
Electronic Arts is facing yet another legal claim over its military shooter Battlefield 4. Maryland-based law firm Brower Piven this week announced it was in the process of seeking EA shareholders who could participate in a potential class-action lawsuit. The terms of the suit, announced in a press release this week, claim that senior EA executives knew--and did not disclose to the public or shareholders--that Battlefield 4 would be buggy at release.
The suit also claims that as a result of these issues--and the report that EA put all DICE projects on hold until the issues could be fixed--EA shares declined significantly, leading to widespread shareholder losses. EA has since clarified that the work being done to fix Battlefield 4's issue has not impacted the release of any future DICE projects, including the new Mirror's Edge and Star Wars: Battlefront games.
These are the same reasons behind the prior two legal claims against EA over Battlefield 4. It has also been revealed that various EA senior executives sold thousands of shares in the weeks leading up to Battlefield 4's release, though it's not clear if this is atypical.
Addressing the original class-action suit claim, from the legal team behind the Enron lawsuit, EA 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."
We reached out to the same EA corporate communications representative for comment on this new report, but he declined. We will continue to monitor the matter as it progresses.
There are several components of this case that are important to remember and to consider. First, this suit does not pertain to consumers, but rather those who purchased EA common stock during the Class Period of July 24-December.
In addition, no suit has actually been filed yet against EA. Class-action lawsuits need a lead plaintiff to move forward within 60 days of commencement, and so far, no person has filled that role--that is a person who claims to have been financially harmed by Battlefield 4's issues.
In addition to heat from legal firms, a Chinese media report recently accused Battlefield 4 of discrediting China's image.