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Battlefield 4 bugs spark investor lawsuit

Battlefield 4 bugs spark investor lawsuit

Battlefield 4 has earned a lot of anger from fans due to its buggy state. DICE is currently working to resolve the issue.

Electronic Arts has been levelled with a class-action lawsuit from some of its investors who claim they were misled over the quality of Battlefield 4 and EA's Playstation 4 library.

The publisher is accused of violating the Securities Exchange Act 1934 by making 'materially false and misleading statements highlighting the purported strength' of its products.

EA's stock price rose due to comments made by the publisher during a particularly strong quarter which led to it raising its 2014 financial outlook. Following DICE's announcement that it would be halting work on further Battlefield 4 expansions until the core game was fixed, EA's stock price tumbled back down again.

The lawsuit specifically mentions that EA failed to mention that Battlefield 4 was going to have a rocky launch due to it being 'riddled with bugs and multiple other problems'. It also mentions several performance issues with games in EA's Playstation 4 portfolio that would mean the publisher was much less likely to meet its financial forecasts.

Talking to Polygon, EA stood up for itself and declared the claims as 'meritless'. The company intends to defend itself aggressively and has confidence that the courts will dismiss the complaint.

Earlier this month DICE announced that it was halting not just development on extra Battlefield 4 content, but on all of its other projects as well until it could adequately resolve the series of connectivity issues and bugs that are currently affecting the title.

19 Comments

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abezors 19th December 2013, 16:56 Quote
Before anybody misunderstands - this is simply investors of the company claiming damages to their investment and suing for any loss of value that their shares may have experienced after release.

This is nothing to do with us, the gamers, who are the ones that genuinely have been hurt.
Corky42 19th December 2013, 17:00 Quote
Not that i follow the BF series, but wasn't the beta test generally accepted to be fairly bug free ?
If so i don't see this case has a leg to stand on.
DriftCarl 19th December 2013, 17:35 Quote
beta was by no means bug free, infact most of the bugs reported in the beta were not even addressed. They existed in live and some still exist now.
Each patch that dice bring out creates new issues, some "fixed" issues noted in the patch notes simply havnt been fixed at all.
In all honesty I think they are currently under resourced to fix the issues, they seem to not have enough internal testers, it is almost as if they are out of their depth at the moment.
I have played a lot of BF4 and although it is a lot more stable now, there are still loads of annoying bugs ingame. I use a thermal scope a lot on my guns, and since the last patch the thermal imaging part of my scope works only 50% of the time, I keep having to switch to pistol and back again to fix it.

Things like gun grips being on the wrong way, loads of spelling mistakes in descriptions of attachments and guns, tanks drivers where when a 2nd player gets in the gunner spot, their gun blocks your vision.
I have never seen a game this unpolished before. Although none of this is massively game breaking and I still play it several times a week, it is more of a disappointment that I no longer feel comfortable in defending this game against COD fans. I am not saying its worse than the new COD, I am just saying I am not prepared to recommend anyone buy it if they are expecting a high quality experience.
jon 19th December 2013, 19:10 Quote
Well said, DC.
sandys 19th December 2013, 19:17 Quote
Not sure what their issue is with ps4 titles but EA got a fair chunk of dough from me for my PS4 and I couldn't be happier with the titles. I have not played MP BF4 though just the campaign, played well though.
Cerberus90 19th December 2013, 20:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DriftCarl
beta was by no means bug free, infact most of the bugs reported in the beta were not even addressed. They existed in live and some still exist now.
Each patch that dice bring out creates new issues, some "fixed" issues noted in the patch notes simply havnt been fixed at all.
In all honesty I think they are currently under resourced to fix the issues, they seem to not have enough internal testers, it is almost as if they are out of their depth at the moment.
I have played a lot of BF4 and although it is a lot more stable now, there are still loads of annoying bugs ingame. I use a thermal scope a lot on my guns, and since the last patch the thermal imaging part of my scope works only 50% of the time, I keep having to switch to pistol and back again to fix it.

Things like gun grips being on the wrong way, loads of spelling mistakes in descriptions of attachments and guns, tanks drivers where when a 2nd player gets in the gunner spot, their gun blocks your vision.
I have never seen a game this unpolished before. Although none of this is massively game breaking and I still play it several times a week, it is more of a disappointment that I no longer feel comfortable in defending this game against COD fans. I am not saying its worse than the new COD, I am just saying I am not prepared to recommend anyone buy it if they are expecting a high quality experience.

What I think makes it even worse is, the fact that BF3 before it, became quite well polished. So how the hell they managed to go backwards is beyond me. Yes there were bugs when it came out, but it did get fixed, how can they not have learnt from that? Especially when it is essentially the same game, it's not like they gone from a FPS shooter to a driving game.

Be interesting to know how many of the developers were happy with what they had done by release, or if they wanted more time but weren't allowed it.
Cogwulf 19th December 2013, 22:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerberus90
What I think makes it even worse is, the fact that BF3 before it, became quite well polished. So how the hell they managed to go backwards is beyond me. Yes there were bugs when it came out, but it did get fixed, how can they not have learnt from that? Especially when it is essentially the same game, it's not like they gone from a FPS shooter to a driving game.

Be interesting to know how many of the developers were happy with what they had done by release, or if they wanted more time but weren't allowed it.

This isn't a case of them going backwards, it is not just that they have not learnt from the mistakes of BF3, they have been making the same mistakes going back several games since after DICE was bought by EA. When you look at these issues and follow the EA forums and the DICE team, it becomes clear that the whole culture that EA enforces is "nextgamenextgamenextgame", at any point only the bare minimum of staff are working on bug fixing and optimisation. What has happened with BF4 is that the level of complexity of the games coding has reached a tipping point where the team can no longer keep on top of issues with their current approach.

BF3 had issues, and despite being playable and enjoyable I still wouldn't call it very well polished now. Whilst there's nothing game-breaking there are issues such as dodgy netcode and poor hit detection and generally shaky coding. Not to mention the vulnerability of the game to aimbots and other hacks.

When you look at the bigger picture, all these problems were simply continuations of the problems that Bad Company 2 suffered from. Poor hit detection, poor netcode, a chat box which for some strange reason was wrote in flash, terrible optimisation on dual-core CPUs, poor optimisation in general. There were constant promises for mod tools that were eventually followed by a post from DICE saying "we know we promised this but the way that we made the engine means that any changes to the game code requires a recompiling, this process needs around 80GB of data and hours to complete."
DC74 19th December 2013, 23:10 Quote
Maybe this is the kick in the Wallet that EA deserves, how many times have we the public been duped into buying EA games that were `bugged to death'. These bugs aren't the result of a bad game creators, but the Publisher EA forcing the company to meet the deadline it wanted come hell or high water. Often with games there are problems with engines that need working on by teams, EA doesn't allow enough time to resolve there problems prior to release and forces the release of a sub standard product in order to make money.

Well if they released a top quality product with minimal bugs they would have more sales and a better reputation is what I'm saying. It's a pity the Dog eat Dog executives in control of EA don't understand this otherwise they would be better businessmen.
SexyHyde 19th December 2013, 23:54 Quote
I'm a gamer that downloaded the beta, not to get an early go, but to review whether the game was worth buying. After playing the beta I decided my money was better off in my wallet to be spent on a more deserving game. Especially as the cheapest you could get the game and DLC was £60 with the official price around the £90 mark. I put in almost 1000 hours into BF2, several hundred in BC2 and just over 80 in BF3 before I gave up on it.
What made the Battlefield experience great was teamwork. Shame they took that part out to shoehorn in the frenetic COD like solo whoring with nerfed aircraft. I'll still have my fingers crossed for BF5 like an idiot though.
Saivert 20th December 2013, 00:08 Quote
What scares me is that the development of BF4 didn't start with the BF3 codebase. They seem to have used a parallell working branch of their game engine code for starting off BF4 development. This is evident with so many issues reappearing (fixed in BF3) or new issues that didn't exist in BF3.

One might think they started development of BF4 way before they made the last patch for BF3.
sotu1 20th December 2013, 00:25 Quote
I'm curious, as an investor in EA, I would have realised that suing the company I'm investing in may make my shares drop because of bad press like this....
theshadow2001 20th December 2013, 02:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotu1
I'm curious, as an investor in EA, I would have realised that suing the company I'm investing in may make my shares drop because of bad press like this....

Good point.

Perhaps if they win the law suit plus sell off their investment, even at a diminished value, it'll end in profit for them.
law99 20th December 2013, 09:56 Quote
Sounds like ocean madness to me.
Bobman 20th December 2013, 22:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by abezors
Before anybody misunderstands - this is simply investors of the company claiming damages to their investment and suing for any loss of value that their shares may have experienced after release.

This is nothing to do with us, the gamers, who are the ones that genuinely have been hurt.

I beg to differ. The investor too have been 'hurt', but they happen to have recourse!
Star*Dagger 20th December 2013, 22:39 Quote
EA should have to defend a class-action suit every week, until they are ground into the dust and their name is a mere memory of 3rd world programming.
fingerbob69 23rd December 2013, 11:48 Quote
BC2 still has a few issues ...ump45 reload action and the scope sudden zoom out on all weapons BUT it is in the main finished.

BF3 has way more issues than this and as for BF$ ....well I ain't gonna go near it for at least 6 months! by which time most of the issues should be resolved.

EA's release cycle ...driven by the need for new titles = profits ...is just far too quick. Slow down EA ...get it right first time! A game's good reputation is hard won but quickly and all too easily lost!
Solidus 23rd December 2013, 14:00 Quote
If there was any other company besides DICE behind this series I would be worried about the support but Dice have a very good reputation generally as a games maker and Battlefield is their fortay.
I would say not to panic personally and to sit tight as they will get things fixed.

I guess we need to put things into perspective; its a first gen game coincided to be released with the next generation of console gaming which is all new waters to a certain extent. There is always going to be bugs at launch and over time they generally do get ironed out. Its probably another reason why I have chosen to sit back and wait until next year for the new consoles, once all the bugs are sorted in both hardware and software.
Corky42 23rd December 2013, 14:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidus
If there was any other company besides DICE behind this series I would be worried about the support but Dice have a very good reputation generally as a games maker and Battlefield is their fortay.
I would say not to panic personally and to sit tight as they will get things fixed.
Probably they will, or maybe EA will apply pressure on DICE forcing them into doing a botch job.
Digi 27th December 2013, 18:33 Quote
One of the reasons I haven't bought it yet despite being a regular on the BF3 scene here. I'll buy the game when it's release quality. Luckily, DICE still have a lot of credit with me as they have mostly been up-front and I enjoyed my BF3 experience.
EA on the other hand..
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