Beleaguered uber-publisher Electronic Arts has hit back against claims contained in a series of lawsuits that are currently being explored by multiple law firms including Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd and Holzer Holzer & Fistel on behalf of the company’s investors. EA’s official response, delivered to Polygon by a spokesperson for the company, is that these lawsuits are frivolous:
“We believe these claims are meritless. We intend to aggressively defend ourselves, and we’re confident the court will dismiss the complaint in due course.”
However, there may be more merit than EA is letting on, especially given the fact that Robbins Geller is the same law firm that took on the Enron class action lawsuit. Their lawsuit accuses EA executives of being able to sell “artificially inflated” shares prior to the release of Battlefield 4 due to releasing “materially false and misleading statements highlighting the purported strength” of the game. In other words, the lawsuit is claiming that EA executives were aware of the defective state of Battlefield 4 and purposely raised expectations surrounding its release to inflate share prices.
The law firm has until February to find someone brave enough to stand as the lead plaintiff in the case. If they do, and the case goes to court, it may set a precedent that prevents developers and publishers from releasing products with game-breaking bugs. But there’s also the long-standing concept of “caveat emptor” (or “buyer beware”) to consider. A ruling against EA in this case would likely make it open season on content creators.
UPDATE: A third law firm, Brower Piven, has announced plans to challenge EA is court over their Battlefield 4 statements.