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EA’s Corporate Puffery Doesn’t Fool the Courts

by Ron Duwell | October 23, 2014October 23, 2014 5:30 pm PDT

Battlefield 4

Finally, some good news for EA about Battlefield 4. A while back, a small band of shareholders became a little miffed believing that EA had pushed Battlefield 4 to the market despite an enormous array of problems. They joined together to file a lawsuit against EA, claiming the company lied about the quality of the game to boost sales, and that the fallout of this dishonesty and the game’s wretched reputation had damaged the company’s value.

Today, that lawsuit has been shot down. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Judge Susan Illston dismissed the allegations, stating that EA simply showed “corporate optimism,” not dishonesty, when speaking about Battlefield 4.

The original complaint claims that EA executives, including CFO Blake Jorgensen and CEO Andrew Wilson backed with quotes, knew very well that the game was full of bugs and was practically unplayable, but was released anyway. Illston labeled EA’s actions as “puffery,” which Webster defines as “exaggerated commendation especially for promotional purposes,” which I suppose makes it okay.

“Defendant [CFO Blake] Jorgensen’s Oct. 29, 2013 statement comparing BF4 to a World Series ace pitcher is puffery…

…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, as well as a vague statement of corporate optimism.”

Not all bets are off the table, though. Illston still has granted the plaintiffs until Nov. 3 to come up with something more convincing. As it stands now, their complaint is too vague and must be revised to show true dishonesty on EA’s part.


Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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