EA sued over Battlefield PS3 promotion - Report

Publisher's last-minute Twitter announcement that Sony console edition of military shooter wouldn't come with Battlefield 1943 prompts class action complaint.

In June, Sony announced at its Electronic Entertainment Expo media briefing that Battlefield 3 for the PlayStation 3 would come packed in with Battlefield 1943. When the console-maker's third-party partner Electronic Arts did an about-face and pulled that bonus from the package, it acknowledged the change on Twitter the day Battlefield 3 launched.

EA is taking fire for its handling of the Battlefield 3 PS3-exclusive promotion.

EA's handling of the situation has prompted legal action, according to a report on Kotaku. Edelson McGuire, a law firm specializing in class-action litigation, filed suit against EA Friday on behalf of PS3 owners, taking exception to the timing and manner in which EA revealed that the Battlefield 1943 PS3 promotion had been scuttled.

According to the report, the suit claims EA "misled and profited from thousands of their customers by making a promise that they could not, and never intended, to keep." The firm was also unimpressed by EA's supposed make-good offer, a one-week exclusivity window for PS3 owners on Battlefield 3 content, saying it was an unrelated promotion publicly announced significantly in advance of the game's shipping.

In an interview with EA Games' Patrick Soderlund earlier this month, GameSpot asked why the change wasn't communicated to consumers prior to launch. A PR representative stepped in to answer for Soderlund, saying only, "We announced this on launch day, communicated through our community channels. In lieu of Battlefield 1943, we wanted to give them something new, which was one-week early access to the Battlefield 3 expansion packs, including the Back to Karkand digital expansion pack."

As of press time, EA had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment on the suit.

For more on the game, check out GameSpot's review of Battlefield 3.

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Discussion

307 comments
Spacemancer
Spacemancer

Bioware and DICE should join together and leave EA and make games Blizzard style, self published.

EtherUnion
EtherUnion

Srsly... Bioware and DICE should ditch this effing company

Sgthombre
Sgthombre

It's like they want me to hate them.... I'm trying really hard to give you the benefit of the doubt, EA, but then you pull crap like this. Nice try.

shakensparco
shakensparco

I feel like EA is trying to go out of its way to have every gamer in the world hate it.

dylan35
dylan35

ok i get it upset with the big ol game company , but really with all the games out and the low player base whats the point of having it ???? did i make sense?

Kenji_Masamune
Kenji_Masamune

people, this is EA do you actually expect anything different? EA doesn't care about gamers, they just happen to fund projects that get gamers to buy their products which happen to be games. Long as you keep shelling out that cash, they will continue not to care.

smoke_dog_4ever
smoke_dog_4ever

@MoreThot True, but what I mean when I say it's easier to hack on the PC with software downloads is that you don't necessarily have to be a software guru to do it - all you need is to find a torrent site that offers updates on stuff like that.

lowkey254
lowkey254

@Rovelius - it's about principles. I actually bought it for PS3, system of choice, in wanting to play 1943. I felt ripped off when I found out I didn't get both games. I would have been pissy about Batman AC and AC:R without their inclusion of AA and AC1, respectively.

Rovelius
Rovelius

They filed a lawsuit for 1943? ...seriously?

stoposto
stoposto

@urayanya Yep, like you, i also read that this article is about shooters being crappy games for consoles ... Wow :O Anyways, i do believe if people was promised BF1943 in a preorder officially made by EA, then those customers are to get a copy of that too. Too bad :/ Good Game Tho.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

@Ngaan I don't think a company can just disavow responsibility mandated by a written contract. The question is whether there is a contract. If there were a contract between EA and pre-order customers about free BF1943, then certainly the customers are entitled to a copy. I don't think EA is foolish enough to make that kind of mistake; they could be, but then they would almost certainly lose. Because I didn't pre-order on PS3, I don't know what exact the pre-order included, but I believe that is the point of contention. Certainly the law of the land rules over any contract, in large part because contracts are only enforceable in civilized settings through law. However, "law of the land" is too broad a term to be useful in many disputes. As both EA and Sony's EULA indicate, their contract with customers is governed, unless explicitly prohibited by some other law which takes precedence, by the local statutes of the State of California, San Mateo County. Business law varies between state to state and country to country; the ICA and other international agreements are limited in their power to enforce a broad set of rules, among them whether the customer can be bound by contract to arbitrate. I am pretty sure San Mateo's law permits just such binding. If you live at a place with consumer-friendly laws, that's great. I wish more places are like that, but that is just not the case.

Petty_Steve
Petty_Steve

I'm sorry Mr. PR Representative, but your reply is immesuarable to the question at hand... How can you justify your reply with early access to the expansion and the fact that you "communicated" the above mensioned on the release date. I bought the game and was not contacted, nor did I see any mention of the fact that it would not be included. I guess it was my fault that I just didn't look for any updates via the internet that day *curse you work, life, family and friends*... Please, as a representative, it is your job to analyse the question asked and respond with a legitamate answer with full regard to said question. Early access to extended gaming content does not justify the fact that a seperate game to BF3 was not delivered as promised. I'm positive that a high number of consumers purchased the game with your promise in mind. Awesome game by the way...

urayanya
urayanya

I never bought a first person game on my ps3, how do you aim using gamepad? I mean it is easier to aim with a mouse right. So I buy PC versions of first person games

Scorchstar
Scorchstar

I dont care about 1943 sorry. BF3 with expansion is much better.

dnvick
dnvick

Who Cares! I love the game BF3. Who would actually play older content anyway? Some people are always looking to sue for anything anyway. Get over it SONY!!!!

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

Good thing EA did? No. Stupid lawsuit? Yes. I can't say I would have suffered in any way for lack of BF1943.

0morte
0morte

sony should be sueing because they used theyr name on it, and by obligation with all of us, YOUR COSTUMERS SONY

rarson
rarson

Early access isn't the same thing as additional content. Stupid EA. It's decisions like this that make me dread the thought of great developers like DICE being ran into the ground by companies like EA.

Ngaan
Ngaan

@Unfallen_Satan Just because a company disavows responsibility to honor promises made to customers in a written contract does not always necessarily hold up in a court of law. As a further example, there is a good chance SONY's EULA, which requires uses to arbitrate rather than sue for damages caused by SONY's ineptitude, won't hold up in court under every possible circumstance. The fact of the matter is the law of the land rules supreme over whatever deals are made between manufacturers and their customers.

Rocker6
Rocker6

@Theking4200 Just wanted to correct you,BF3 sold 5 million in the first week,while MW3 sold 6.5 million on the first day of release,so no,BF3 didn't sell "hell of a lot more then mw3"...

Granpire
Granpire

Things like this make me furious. I much prefer smaller companies that treat their consumers better. These days, I think it's much more profitable to do this.

itchyflop
itchyflop

@ 187umKILLAH thanks for the response and yeah good call i agree!! personally i don't think it ll make much difference to them!! Obviously they didn't care then and wont now plus they have more money and influence than a small country, that was my point. Its sh@t though i didn't know they were gonna ship it, hang on wasn't there already a dlc package to buy of 1942 on psn and xbox arcade recreated and remastered???

Theking4200
Theking4200

Spacerac@ Well BF 3 sold 5 million copies in the first week - hell of a lot more then mw3... I can understand why they didn't give 1943 with the game for free. I payed for it when it came out on XBOX. Then why should ps3 gamers get it for free ? PS3 gamers are just looking for some compensation after SONY failed big time with the security... I'll bet that EA comes out of this with no problems.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I don't get why this has come to a lawsuit. Don't all pre-orders come with specific details on the bonus content, if any, that are included with the pre-order? If BF1943 is actually listed as a part of any pre-orders, I think those buyers are entitled to a free copy of the game, if not from EA then from wherever they bought BF3. If it's not specifically listed, but only implied through interviews or media announcements, then EA is not bound to honor it. It may be false advertising, I guess, but that is a difficult allegation to prove if EA only announced it at E3 media briefing and did not advertise it elsewhere. Although I disapprove of EA's numerous marketing ploys, I don't think it's crass enough to breach outright a purchase contract with its customers. In any case, this will end up as another black mark on EA's reputation. Just to be fair, I would like to know who has retained Edelson McGuire. Obviously EA is too powerful to be buried in litigation, but it's still hurt by negative press. Oh, and doesn't EA's EULA specifically dictate that the user relinquishes his right to class action lawsuits?

Spacerac
Spacerac

People can *b-word* and complain all they want to but, no wonder MW3 sold 775 MILLION dollars worth of copies. EA goofed. There's no way to talk around it. I'm saying this as a neutral. I'm saying this as somebody that sees Uncharted 3 as having the better multiplayer of both games. EA screwed up. They wanted this game to take down Call of Duty but nothing they did to nerf it helped it as the juggernaut that is Call of Duty got stronger.

max_1111
max_1111

@JusticeFromSeed Yea i realize what we're talking about here, mate. My point stands.

JusticeFromSeed
JusticeFromSeed

@max_1111 Compared to 360, PS3, and even Wii? Yeah, PC is 'so few'. We're talking comparative numbers here, mate.

Rocker6
Rocker6

@MoreThot Yeah,while PC doesn't suffer from a lack of solid exclusives,they aren't that important,I agree,game quallity is important.Stuff like mods,cheaper games and much greater customizability of PC as a platform is what makes me a PC gamer.Consoles are fine,I have nothing aginst them,I even own a PS3,but they're an afterthought for me,PC is where its at,every multiplatform game availible on PC is played on PC,PS3 is for exclusives only :)

MoreThot
MoreThot

@oflow see Rocker6 post and personally I don't care at all for exclusives.. What I care about is a quality game, sure there are going to be more exclusives for consoles because 1)thats where a lot of simple gamers are 2) its easier to develop a game for a console than it is for computer because the pc community demands more for their system than what console is capable. It's simply goes to quality or quantity. @smoke_dog_4ever hmm i dont think your comment on hacking being as simple as downloading a software mod.. good hacks generally require coding and constant changes and updates to that coding to beat the anti cheats, PB is a joke and VAC is somewhat of a joke.

max_1111
max_1111

@JusticeFromSeed Several million Steam (and Origin i guess *wretch*) gamers would like to have a word with you. True that PC gamers are not the majority but to use a phrase like, "so few people actually bother with PC gaming" is completely ignorant. @oflow you should probably just go ahead and shush... Dudes like you are the reason console gamers get the bum reputation that they have...

Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

They should just include it as a download. What could it really cost them to do it as a free dlc. Im sure Sony wouldn't mind.

Vishant
Vishant

Bought the game not knowing that BF 1943 had been pulled, doing so on the release date is completely underhanded and although no written assurances were made it is still in the interests of customer service and delivering on a promised service that EA should have honoured it

Henninger
Henninger

Good. Serves them right. I hope they lose all the money they made on the game in court costs.

Titans23
Titans23

@Rocker6 I agree with you, and another game I think that would be called a pc exclusive in my opinion would be battlefield 3 lol, the game is sooooo much different on pc than console, I have a ps3 and pc btw. Not even just from a technical standpoint but when you jump to above 24 players the gameplay seems different as well. Just an opinion though...

JusticeFromSeed
JusticeFromSeed

While it wasn't much of an incentive, it was still underhanded. @Rocker6 Your spill on PC vs Console maturity is bull, mate. On average, maybe, but that's only because so few people actually bother with PC gaming. You're the inmature one for claiming not to want to start a console war and them doing an about face and throwing insults out there.

MERGATROYDER
MERGATROYDER

Don't make false advertising. On a lighter note, the free download didn't make people buy this title. 360 owners were to get nothing and it garnered three times the sales.

187umKILLAH
187umKILLAH

@itchyflop "Just because they're a massive corporate company now shouldn't mean they should get hammered" They're being 'hammered' because they lied to their customers, its irrelevant how big or small this company is - they broke the law so now they will answer to the legal system and rightfully so. The saying 'Don't do the crime if you can't do the time' comes to mind.

Zhern
Zhern

What EA done was wrong, they deserve it.

kwanzudood
kwanzudood

It seems like EA could easily put Battlefield 1943 DLC codes out for everybody who has an online pass for BF3 on PS3.

DawnBlue
DawnBlue

Hmm so EA expects everyone to follow them on Twitter for them to be aknowledged as their legitimate customers? That's pretty much what the PR representative said.

itchyflop
itchyflop

i dunno, one part of me thinks EA should have delivered and the other thinks its so common and games are always changing or listening to feedback from players. Are EA really the big bullies in the playground of gaming??? Just because they're a massive corporate company now shouldn't mean they should get hammered, i remember when they started out around the sega genesis days they were cutting edge then, you have to respect such a strong contribution they brought and still bring.

MarcJL31
MarcJL31

I think everyone saw this coming. I am really surprise their legal team didnt tell inform EA that this is exactly what was going to happen. I mean you change it without telling people before hand and expect them not to be upset? EA handled this poorly and should just give the PS3 owners as code for it after the initial outcry and could have avoided all this legal stuff.

Rocker6
Rocker6

@dlCHIEF58 Oh,forgot about Tropico 4,will fix my mistake.As for Witcher,as I said,untill the Xbox version is released,its an PC exclusive,and it can be called 2011 PC exclusive,since Xbox version won't be released before 2012...

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@Rocker6 The Witcher 2 is coming to the Xbox next year with all the expansions to date included and Tropico 4 has already been released on the Xbox.

Rocker6
Rocker6

@oflow I don't want to start a PC/console war,but PC had more than enough good exclusives this year,dare I say,even more than Xbox360.So,let's see:Witcher 2(as long as Xbox version isn't released its a PC exclusive),Amnesia;The Dark Descent,Hard Reset,Shogun Total War 2,SW The Old Republic,Heroes 6,Red Orchestra HoS,etc.All solid games,also I can continue if you want,I could think about 10 more if you really want. Also,it is the fact how the PC community is more mature,a console gamer and a PC gamer have different mindsets,for example,PC gamers don't fall easily on ad campaings,and annual releases don't sell well on PC because we don't want rehashes,we want innovation.I know many ppl think low sales on PC for games like CoD are because of piracy,but no,they're not.Its because most of us don't see the point in paying for games that don't improve upon their predcessors in any way. Now Im not saying how console community is imature or anything,but you won't find any crap like kids screaming on mics on PC,for example...