Electronic Arts, publisher of popular game series such as Battlefield, Crysis, Mass Effect, and FIFA, is in hot water over issues that the company’s biggest studio, DICE, is having with the launch of Battlefield 4.
Launch issues with the game forced DICE to announce that they are planning to hold back on all DLC packs and map additions while they fix game-breaking bugs and issues with cheaters on the networks running rampant. The weeks following the launch saw EA’s stock value drop by 7.3%, due to the game’s issues and overall negative coverage in the press.
Now law firm Holzer, Holzer & Fistel is urging shareholders that may have lost money on their investment into the company because of the launch issues to contact them to join a class action lawsuit against Electronic Arts and its subsidiary studios.
“If you purchased EA common stock between July 24, 2013 and December 4, 2013 and suffered losses on that investment, you are encouraged to contact Holzer Holzer & Fistel, LLC,” the law office states. “Holzer Holzer & Fistel, LLC is an Atlanta, Georgia law firm that dedicates its practice to vigorous representation of shareholders and investors in litigation nationwide, including shareholder class action and derivative litigation.”
In a recent interview with The Guardian on the issues and with EA’s overall stance in the games industry, Executive vice president of EA Studios Patrick Söderlund admitted that the firm and its studios could do a lot better with many of its previous and current game launches.
“We have to do a better job of getting games into the market that are as bug-free as possible,” said Söderlund. “Games are becoming more and more complex – even though we’ll run a beta and we’ll do massive amounts of testing, there are certain things, especially in an online-focused environment, that you won’t catch. I wish I could say that we will, but I don’t think we’ll ever catch everything.”
“We try and do an update every second day to improve the game experience, and there are patches in the works for the PS3 and Xbox 360,” Söderlund adds. “I bet we’ll have to do the same thing on the next-gen machines. But our commitment to making the best gameplay experience on a continual basis is there.”
This isn’t the first Battlefield game that shipped out with a slightly broken multiplayer on day one. Battlefield 3’s launch issues continued for well over two months and gamers suffered from issues with their progress in matches being lost, lag due to unoptimised netcode and games being hacked by users who used cheats to get ahead in the rankings.
But it appears that DICE may simply have not done enough testing before the game went gold. The Battlefield 4 open multiplayer beta was launched on 4 October 2013 for players on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 platforms. The open beta closed soon after, however, shutting down on 15 October in time for DICE to ready their servers for launch day, which was taking place nearly two weeks later.
Are you suffering gameplay issues with your copy of Battlefield 4? Do you feel wronged by DICE and EA? Let us know in the comments below and in our forums.