Judge dismisses securities fraud suit against EA; executives were just being optimistic | PCGamesN

Judge dismisses securities fraud suit against EA; executives were just being optimistic

Battlefield 4 lawsuit

Remember the lawsuits against EA and its executives over Battlefield 4? The securities fraud suit that appeared last year has been dismissed by a Federal judge. The suit claimed that EA’s top brass knew about all the problems with Battlefield 4 and then lied to investors by making public statements espousing the quality of the game. The judge disagreed. 

“The Court agrees with defendants that all of the purported misstatements are inactionable statements of opinion, corporate optimism, or puffery," Judge Susan Illston said.

Puffery, as the law sees it, is just a subjective claim. If it’s to puff up or promote something, and no reasonable person would take it literally, then that’s puffery. 

I see the judge’s point. People shouldn’t have expected Battlefield 4 to work. It was just puffery. 

Here are a few of the comments made by EA executives that the court considers corporate optimism or puffery, things no reasonable investor would believe: 

“I think that we have reached a level of quality at launch that we didn’t get to last time, and our teams are already starting to think about investment in new innovation for the future.” That’s from Andrew Wilson. 

“We created two technology paths [Frostbite and Ignite] and invested early. . . . [W]e wanted to de-risk the technology piece as much as possible. That was the key learning. . . . I was not going to repeat that mistake. . . . Frostbite has been the core difference. When you have a proven technology base with tools that work. . . it makes for efficient and low-risk development.” This one’s from Frank Gibeau.

“So from the standpoint of picking the wrong platforms, I think we did a good job there but we’ve mismanaged the technology. That’s not happening this time around.” And that would be Peter Moore. 

Cheers, Ars Technica.

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Shriven avatarPurgatorialFlame avatarunwanted avatarFraser Brown avatarJezcentral avatar
Shriven Avatar
3488
3 Years ago

Great. So they are not criminals, they are incompetent.

2
PurgatorialFlame Avatar
73
3 Years ago

I wonder if Sega and Gearbox can use this BS excuse to get away with Alien:Colonial Marines...

1
unwanted Avatar
788
3 Years ago

I hope we won't hear the term "puffery" now. I feel like companies will be using that when people complain about how shitty their game is.

1
Fraser Brown Avatar
960
3 Years ago

It's a phenomenal word, though, even if it is a shifty legal loophole.

1
Shriven Avatar
3488
3 Years ago

Ive got a better word. It's "Shitifying"

0
Jezcentral Avatar
536
3 Years ago

Now you know why companies always have that "Don't take anything we are about to say as the truth" disclaimer before all investor meetings.

1