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Madden 23's Disastrous Franchise Problems Continue With Saves Permanently Lost

Madden Franchise players aren't strangers to save data issues this year, but none have been worse than this.


Madden NFL 23 has been plagued by a number of server-side issues for months, and the most impactful of them to date has resulted in an unknown number of player-made leagues being deleted permanently.

We covered Madden's most recent Franchise mode issues just a few weeks ago. During that time, some players were locked out of their leagues, while others were not. A fix arrived on December 15, though a similar issue cropped up days later, which the game's support account on Twitter acknowledged on December 26. Two days later, the same account announced that issues were resolved and "users should now be able to play [Connected Franchise Mode] without issue." Unfortunately, a day later, the team once more revealed issues surrounding the mode, and it's this latter pair of messages that would prove extremely costly to some players.

As announced on December 30, players who logged into Franchise mode during a specific window of time may have lost their saved data forever due to a "data storage issue," said Tiburon on the game's official forums.

"On Wednesday 12/28 around 2:45 pm EST, Players trying to access the Franchise server were given an error that leagues were unavailable. The issue persisted until 12:45 am EST on Thursday 12/29. Unfortunately, if you logged into Franchise leagues during this time, your data was affected due to a data storage issue that resulted in Franchise files being corrupted."

This specified window followed the announcement that leagues were once again up and running for all players, which likely means some players jumped back into Franchise thinking all was well, only to have unwittingly contributed to the deletion of their leagues.

For some number of Madden players, weeks or months of effort have vanished overnight and aren't coming back.
For some number of Madden players, weeks or months of effort have vanished overnight and aren't coming back.

Tiburon added that it believes an estimated 40% of Franchise saves that were lost can still be recovered, though players are waiting to hear more about how this might happen. The team also admits that some are lost for good, and suggested affected players start over.

"If you logged in during the above window, we encourage you to start a new franchise as the mode is up and running," the forum post read. For many players, Franchise is the game's centerpiece and a tremendous timesink. Putting in multiple seasons and building up a virtual dynasty can take dozens or even hundreds of hours, on par with major RPGs. Naturally, the team's subsequent response has felt inadequate for many players, with many on social media demanding refunds and/or promoting the #BoycottMadden24 hashtag on Twitter.

Despite the team's confusing wording, which actually makes this bad issue sound even worse, some leagues weren't affected at all--I know this firsthand as my league was playing games within the now-fateful window of time. So the total number of lost leagues is, according to Tiburon, 60% of those affected by the bug, not 60% of all Madden Franchise saves. Some skeptical players have doubted the team's honesty when it's said 40% of leagues may still be restored, given that hard numbers were not shared, but we've seen no evidence so far to suggest the percentages are fabricated. Still, it's clear that the game's troubled history does not foster goodwill among many of its players.

The ongoing server issues, in general, have seemed widespread and chaotic. Other problems include game results being lost at the end of games, roster moves being undone, and an especially nagging issue, which currently seems to be resolved, in which leagues would revert backward in time, sometimes by several in-game weeks or months. The manner in which these server-side issues have not yet disappeared and continue to spring up in new forms can make playing Madden feel like an exercise in gambling with one's own invested time and effort.

We've reached out to an EA representative for more details, though they did not provide comment before this article was published. We'll update it if or when they do and as we learn more.

Mark Delaney on Google+

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