'Battlefield 4' tech glitches persist, Electronic Arts shares fall

SAN FRANCISCO Thu Dec 5, 2013 4:13pm EST

An overview shows the Electronic Arts EA exhibition stand during the Gamescom 2013 fair in Cologne August 21, 2013. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

An overview shows the Electronic Arts EA exhibition stand during the Gamescom 2013 fair in Cologne August 21, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Ina Fassbender

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA.O) said on Thursday it halted development on upcoming projects of its "Battlefield 4" game to fix technical problems that have plagued the title recently, taking its stock down as much as 8 percent.

Gamers playing "Battlefield 4" - a military-style shooter that is the company's most-anticipated holiday title - have been complaining of crashes and online connectivity issues since its October launch.

Shares of Electronic Arts finished down 6 percent at $21.01. The 8 percent drop earlier in the session was the biggest since March.

"We're not moving onto future projects or expansions until we sort out all the issues with Battlefield 4," Electronic Arts said in a statement.

The company had planned five "Battlefield 4" expansion packs with additional content for next year without announcing release dates.

Electronic Arts has temporarily put development on upcoming titles on hold to give current problems full attention, an Electronic Arts spokesman said.

"The work being done to stabilize Battlefield 4 does not impact our release schedule for future titles," he added.

Since the game launched on platforms, including the new PlayStation 4 from Sony Corp (6758.T) and Xbox One from Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), sales have been weaker than expected, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said in a research note this week.

(Reporting by Malathi Nayak; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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