EA execs off the hook in Battlefield 4 'you lied to inflate share price' lawsuit

Can't do much about "opinion", "corporate optimism" and "puffery".

Battlefield 4 didn't work, everybody noticed and we even wrote a Disaster Report about the whole thing. And then we moved on.

But only now, roughly a year after Battlefield 4 launched, has a class-action lawsuit against EA, about that game, been dismissed.

The lawsuit (hosted on Ars Technica) claimed EA bigwigs made "materially false or misleading statements" about Battlefield 4 in the run up to launch, in order "to sell their EA stock at artificially inflated prices".

EA top bods Andrew Wilson, Peter Moore, Frank Gibeau and Patrick Söderlund apparently made nearly $20m, collectively, selling shares during this period.

The execs are quoted as saying things such as:

"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." -Frank Gibeau

"We've not had some of the problems some of our fellow publishers in the industry have in getting our quality titles ready for next-gen. We feel ... we're well ahead of this transition, and we're going to nail it." -Peter Moore

"... we have a launch slate of games that are the best transition games that I've ever seen come out of this Company ... ." -Andrew Wilson

But US District Judge Susan Illston decided on Monday that, "The Court agrees with defendants that all of the purported misstatements are inactionable statements of opinion, corporate optimism, or puffery."

Not this kind of puffery:

puff

The kind of puffery that's a generic boast that's hard to prove either way. Had EA used (as Ars Technica points out) "measurable numbers, talked about specifics, or directly compared it to one or more competitors", that would require proof and that could be "actionable".

Amazing.

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer  |  Clert

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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