I can’t remember the last time I heard of a video game bug so bad that people’s consoles just quit in disgust — but some PlayStation 4 owners are reporting that BioWare’s shared-world shooter Anthem is completely crashing their consoles. Or worse.
While neither Sony nor BioWare owner Electronic Arts has explained why this might be happening — or how widespread the issue might be — EA now says it’s officially investigating the problem, and is asking players with the issue to share their crash data, and/or answer a few questions in this forum thread.
We’re aware of a crashing issue some of you have been reporting for #AnthemGame. We’re investigating and ask that you share your crash data reports when prompted. If you have, we’ll be reaching out to gather info; if not, please reply to this thread on AHQ:https://t.co/36P21YFjYL
Sometimes, the error seems to merely involve the game crashing to the PS4’s dashboard, as in this example:
Played 4 missions in Anthem.
2 ended in disconnects and one ended with a hard crash.
But according to a pair of much-upvoted posts at the Anthem subreddit, via Kotaku (and several earlier posts at EA’s forums), some players with the issue are also seeing their PS4 consoles completely turn themselves off, as if they’d spontaneously unplugged the power cord instead of safely shutting down.
“The console powers down and will not power on using the normal method of pressing the PS4 button on the controller,” reads one particularly detailed report from a user named techjo, adding that after a crash, the PlayStation winds up running a hard disc check. “Sometimes the button on the front of the console works, other times I have to unplug the console then plug it back in,” they add.
In rare cases, PS4 owners are reporting that their consoles are being “bricked,” to the point they’ll no longer properly turn on. That could be a side effect of the hard drive or other components spontaneously losing power — they’re not designed to do that, and it’s why the PS4 normally runs a hard disc check every time it accidentally gets unplugged. This forum post suggests trying a database rebuild if your PS4 isn’t working properly, though we haven’t tried that ourselves.
While it seems like many of these crashes are occurring with the more powerful, more expensive PS4 Pro version of the console, some say they’re seeing crashes with the PS4 Slim as well.
In any event, some angry gamers aren’t waiting for Sony and EA to get to the bottom of the problem before they take action. One Reddit post with over 3,300 upvotes is urging players to stop playing entirely until there’s a fix, and some players are attempting to get refunds on the game with varying degrees of success. The Ask PlayStation UK account says the issue is “outside our refund policy,” though Variety and others say they were able to get a refund through PlayStation’s support chat tool.
Update, March 6th: BioWare now says it’s identified several fixes, and will issue a patch next week.