Grim news for Madden 23 fans: a server bug recently caused players to lose access to online saves in the hugely popular franchise mode.
Between December 28 and December 29, players who signed into franchise leagues found that their data was corrupted due to a storage issue on EA’s Madden 23 servers. Franchise Online Mode, Online Franchise Mode, and Franchise Face Save were corrupted during this time.
“We regret that this happened,” EA wrote in an update. (Opens in a new tab). We know how important your perks are to you and are actively working on a fix to restore some files via a backup as quickly as possible. However, not all affected leagues can be restored. The team currently expects about 40% of leagues to be recovered. We will communicate a schedule Updated next week on possible restoration of saved files from a backup.”
EA says if you log in between 2.45pm EST, on December 28th and 12.45pm EST, on December 29th, you should “start a new franchise.”
Franchising is a very popular mode where you run teams over several seasons in a long campaign. It epitomizes the longtime NFL experience and offers a huge draw for Madden games besides just offering a decent football game. Over the course of multiple seasons, players form beneficial bonds with their teams. Being a Chicago Bears fan is one thing, but it’s even better if you lovingly stage your own version of the team over dozens of hours in the context of Madden 23’s neo-realism.
in the trenches
As you might expect, fans reacted strongly to losing their beloved saves.
“Between school and work, I don’t have much time to play,” Hank1581 wrote on Reddit. (Opens in a new tab). “I’ve been on this franchise for months. Madden messed up the files. I’m angry beyond words.”
Timequake-Droid wrote: “There have been a lot of problems with Madden over the years, but for over 60% of leads – which is probably the majority of active customers – to be fully corrupted is beyond dull”. (Opens in a new tab)while asking if EA would offer refunds.
Others have been losing in more creative directions. Redditor Lazytowwwwwn posted a tribute (Opens in a new tab) To Terry Torrence, a fictional player created by the game who can sometimes boast absurdly good stats. “I wanted to take time to honor his sacrifice. You will not forget.”
For all the conveniences that online multiplayer offers, it’s sad to see a bug in EA’s server setup negatively impact the gaming experiences of so many soccer fans. Games like Madden are great because they allow players to chart their personal courses through the world of the NFL, sticking to their pick team through thick and thin while making important draft picks each year.
The fact that EA only has viable backups available for 40% of expected saves shows a huge mistake on their part. If players must entrust their saves to company-owned servers when playing online, the least they can expect is for their data to be safe and secure. Although one cannot reasonably expect the server infrastructure to be infallible, the 60% attrition rate on affected saves, not to mention the questioned lack of cross-play, leaves a lot to be desired from EA side.