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EA did not mislead with  Battlefield 4  -- it was simply 'corporate optimism'

EA did not mislead with Battlefield 4 -- it was simply 'corporate optimism'

October 22, 2014 | By Mike Rose

October 22, 2014 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Last December, a group of Electronic Arts investors filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that EA had knowingly or recklessly made false or misleading public statements about the quality of Battlefield 4 in a gambit to juice sales.

Now a U.S. District Judge has ruled in favor of EA, reports Courthouse News, stating that the company was simply showing "corporate optimism" about the upcoming release, and was not trying to mislead anyone.

The original complaint alleged that senior EA executives knew -- and did not disclose to the public or public shareholders -- that Battlefield 4 was a buggy, incomplete mess that would not be able to function as advertised if it was released on schedule.

The complaint contained numerous quotes from EA executives, including CFO Blake Jorgensen and CEO Andrew Wilson, that the plaintiffs claimed were false or misleading.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said in the ruling [PDF] this week, "Defendant [CFO Blake] Jorgensen's Oct. 29, 2013 statement comparing BF4 to a World Series ace pitcher is puffery" -- in other words, the sort of corporate language that you'd expect to hear any big company using in the run-up to a big release.

"Defendant Wilson's Oct. 29, 2013 statement explaining that EA 'worked more closely with Microsoft and Sony throughout the entire process' resulting in a 'launch slate of games that are the best transition games that I've ever seen come out of this company' is an inactionable opinion," she added, "as well as a vague statement of corporate optimism."

Overall, the judge says that the complaint did not adequately articulate why any of EA's statements about the game were false.

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