Just to clear the air before going forward: the investors, stockholders and financial sharks that help fuel the market with constant buying and selling... they don't care about whether or not Battlefield 4 was broke out of the box. Battlefield 4 being broken only became a concern when it started affecting sales and marketing perception, and that meant that it was affecting their money. Investors started caring when Battlefield 4's bugs started affecting their money.
According to Market Watch [via Gameranx], a third law firm has joined in on the lawsuit fray called Brower Piver, based out of Stevenson, Maryland. They've filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of those who purchased EA's common stock between July 24th and December 2nd of this year.
As noted on Market Watch...
“According to the complaint, following the November 15, 2013 disclosure that EA games experienced multiple glitches and significant crashes on the newly released Sony Play Station 4 console and the December 4, 2013 disclosure that bugs, connectivity issues, server limitations and other problems plaguing Battlefield 4 indefinitely halted the rollout of Battlefield 4 and delayed other EA projects, the value of EA shares declined significantly.”
The thing that makes it so bad is that in our previous report, we noted how the executives at Electronic Arts cashed out more than $13.2 million in stock preceding the launch of Battlefield 4.
The other two suits also have their own collection of data and information leading up to the launch of Battlefield 4, making it indisputably difficult to come up with any sort of defense for Electronic Arts.
While EA has stated that the lawsuits have no merit and that they will protect themselves in the court of law, it's hard for me to imagine that there's any excuse at all that the company's top executives would cash out that much money before the launch of Battlefield 4 and that they would continue to pump up the game during the launch period, knowing full well that the game wasn't ready for release.
Many gamers respect DICE greatly as one of the best development studios in operation right now, so it's not that gamers felt that DICE couldn't deliver a quality title in Battlefield 4, it's that many gamers (and even some developers) felt that the studio needed more time to flesh out the game and hammer the kinks, bugs and glitches into oblivion before the game hit store shelves.
However, as we've reported on in the past, game developers don't get to control the release date of their game as that's entirely in the publisher's hands. The real question becomes: was it worth it for Electronic Arts to push DICE toward stamping a gold master disc so early in order to beat Call of Duty: Ghosts to the market at the risk of coming under fire from multiple class-action lawsuits that could potentially sink the company?