EA Scores Partial Victory in Lawsuit Over Battlefield 4 Woes

Judge rules against shareholders who sued the publisher over Battlefield 4's rocky launch.

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Electronic Arts has notched a partial victory in the ongoing lawsuit over the calamitous Battlefield 4 launch.

On Monday, a federal judge ruled against the shareholders (Ryan Kelly and Louis Mastro) who last year filed a class-action lawsuit against EA, claiming executives at the company made false claims in earnings calls and media interviews about the game's quality ahead of its disastrous launch.

As reported by Courthouse News, US District Judge Susan Illston ruled that pre-release comments about Battlefield 4 from EA CFO Blake Jorgensen and EA CEO Andrew Wilson amounted to nothing more than "puffery" and "corporate optimism."

Illston also struck down Kelly and Mastro's contention that EA acted intentionally or deliberately reckless regarding the pre-release state of Battlefield 4. She found that that "the complaint fails to adequately allege falsity and scienter for reasons articulated by defendants."

Kelly and Mastro say, however, that they relied on the EA executives' comments when deciding whether or not they should buy stock in the company. EA responded by showing that, in fact, five of the eight statements that Kelly and Mastro said they relied on were actually made after they purchased EA shares.

As a result, Illston ruled that Kelly and Mastro cannot pursue securities fraud claims against EA. The case isn't over just yet, though, as Illston said she will allow new lead plaintiffs to come forward. Kelly and Mastro must amend their case by November 3.

Battlefield's rocky launch did not hurt the game's commercial appeal, according to Jorgensen. However, the troubles at release "absolutely" resulted in a loss of player trust, EA has since admitted.

Nearly a year after launch, EA continues to support Battlefield 4. The game introduced a massive fall update earlier in October, while the game's Final Stand expansion is due out soon. For more on Battlefield 4, check out GameSpot's review and previous coverage.

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