Is Battlefield 4 battling for its own life?
Originally released on October 29, 2013, Battlefield 4 is a first-person shooter video game developed by Electronic Arts (EA) as a sequel to 2011’s Battlefield 3. This version of the video game is known for allowing players plenty of survival capabilities including countering melee attacks from the front while standing or crouching, shooting with their sidearm while swimming, and diving underwater to avoid enemy detection. However, Battlefield 4 has also been besieged with problems creating a messy situation for developer EA.
This morning the Xbox One version of Battlefield 4 implemented a patch repairing a number of problems that gamers have been experiencing. Notable among these repairs is the function known as “kill trading.”
Released today, this patch adjusts the game’s code in order to minimize the occurrence of kill trading. Historically, Japanese Samurai warriors were known for sometimes killing each other simultaneously in duels, but this is apparently not so inspiring for Battlefield 4 game aficionados.
So, exactly what is kill trading?
Any Battlefield 4 gamer will explain that kill trading is when two players are firing at each and both of them appear to die simultaneously. This feature has been allowing a supposedly “dead player” to earn a kill.
Developers addressed the kill trading debacle by explaining that the time window for a bullet to cause damage from one already dead player may now be calculated as intended, “decreasing the time frame when players with high latency could get a kill, even though they should be dead according to the server. “ EA claims this should resolve the chances for a kill trading to occur.”
Today’s patch is just the latest in a series of patches that Battlefield 4 developers have been cranking out to ameliorate numerous issues gamers have been suffering since launch. In fact, the company has experienced so many bugs, connectivity issues, and crashes with Battlefield 4 that on Dec. 4, EA announced it would stop working on its expansion agenda for future versions of the game in order to focus on fixing these prevalent issues once and for all.
For all Battlefield 4 aficionados, this is serious business. Indeed, for all stockholders at EA this is a life or death issue for the simple reason that the problems have actually resulted in a drop in EA stock. It pits Battlefield 4 maker EA in a battle for its own life because the problems have indeed been noted among several law firms. In point of fact, these issues have already led to a class-action lawsuit that was filed yesterday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by the law firm Robins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP.
In other words, not only is kill trading putting a damper on the gamers’ experience, the seemingly never-ending issue of Battlefield 4 glitches is diminishing the value of EA stock – and that is no game. The EA stock had hit a high of $28.13 per share on Aug. 23. This allowed EA administration to sell off some of their own shares at unrealistically inflated prices. Following the Dec. 4 announcement, EA stock hit $21.01 on Dec. 5, and that 25 percent drop has led to a situation where Battlefield 4 might be battling for its own life.
The problems are being interpreted by stockholders in the class-action lawsuit as violations of U.S. securities laws due to allegedly misleading stockholders as to the quality of Battlefield 4 and the publisher’s PlayStation 4 titles. EA is charged with failure to disclose, and misrepresentation of, the issues at stake.
Explained in detail at the Battlefield.com website, the kill trading fix is only one of 20 glitches that are being addressed in today’s patch release. The website advertises: “The Battlefield 4 Control Room – Your one stop for the latest intel on how we are updating the game.” However, it might be a case of too little, too late.
Thus, it appears there has been an ongoing problem with development and testing at EA. The entire issue was further exacerbated when EA raised guidance for the fiscal year of 2014 this past Oct. 29 on the basis of having performed beyond expectations in the preceding financial quarter.
Q: If Battlefield 4 kills off all of its glitches, and a series of class-action lawsuits kills off EA, would that be an example of kill trading?
A: Possibly, yes, because the time window where an inflated stock price could result in a killing for EA administrators who sold off stock when it was at an all-time high. This may now be calculated as intended, decreasing the time frame when EA administrators raised guidance for its stock while all the time knowing about the plethora of Battlefield 4 glitches, and for this they should be punished at the very least, according to the stockholders.
Whether real or imaginary, stay tuned for the next big announcement from EA to watch Battlefield 4 battling for Its own life.
Alex is a ghostwriter and business consultant, a Ph.D. in social psychology, author of numerous books, experienced as a college professor, in sales and management, and a business owner.
By Alex Durig, Ph.D.