Report: Mass Effect 2 PS3 save files easily corrupted [Update]

Tuesday, 25th January 2011 23:53 GMT By Brenna Hillier


A number of posts on the Bioware forums suggest PlayStation 3 owners are suffering from failed Mass Effect 2 save files, resulting in loss of progress and data across all playthroughs.

Multiple users have reported console freezes followed by the failure of the game to recognise saves upon reboot. On examination, save data has apparently been found to be corrupted.

No guaranteed work around has been found, as one bad save seems to bork the whole save file, blocking access to earlier saves or other playthroughs; even back ups on removable drives have ailed to restore access to data.

[Update] CVG has dug of a forum post with a response from BioWare. Producer Jesse Houston is asking affected players to assist in identifying the issue by providing the following information:

– Where the crash occurred that caused the save to become corrupt
– How many levels in a row you played beforehand
– How long you were playing concurrently beforehand

Presumably replies should be posted to the error discussion thread.

Thanks, GamesRadar.



  1. themadjock

    NO SHIT, it happened to me tonight…. 12 hrs wasted, I can’t be assed starting again, at least not now. Should I keep it and try again during the quiet summer months or just trade in and watch the story vids on youtube?

    I can’t even import my friends save game file!!!!!!!!!!

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Hunam

    If I was you’d I’d return it to the shop to be honest.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. barchetta

    Tried uninstalling, reinstalling and reintroducing your mate’s save?

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Nozz

    Not even surprised! The amount of auto saves this game makes is nuts. Combine that with a ragequit and well.. You know…

    #4 4 years ago
  5. barchetta

    Might be specific console models? A particular set of story choices? Just a random balls up? Christ it is a big game to be picking through. And surprising it got out of QA undetected..

    #5 4 years ago
  6. SplatteredHouse

    This sort of issue can absolutely kill stone-dead, any continued interest in a game of this type.

    If it happened to me (somewhat fortunate here, since PS3 only just launched hopefully not a lot of progress lost), after I have invested time and interest and getting involved in the game – I’d trade that thing right in, without a second thought.
    Still, Bioware should know better than to ship in that state. Any game, let alone one for which the save file state is utterly integral! It’s never as fun to play something for the first time, (particularly with all the choices you’d have to replicate and other lost input) over again.
    How did this slip through testing?

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Psychotext

    I’ve really never understood why games like this don’t alternate between two internal autosaves. Screw up one and at least you’d have the other to fall back on.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. ivycrew707

    Wow and I was sitting here thinking how wonderful it is to play through a glitchless game… I’m afraid to turn it back on

    #8 4 years ago
  9. lexph3re

    Suck it up and play it again but this time back up your save file to a external memory source like psp or a donggle. No point in returning it if you were enjoying it.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Hunam


    You’ve got to remember that every fix can cause a problem when making a game. It could have turned up in the very last thing that was changed before the game went to cert and the QA might not have had enough time to hit everything up as much as they’d like.

    I guess I’m just saying this as a tester, but 99% of bugs in games are known and the others well, have 30 people test a game is a great help, but it doesn’t match to over a million people playing the game. It’s impossible to have a bug free game.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. barchetta

    I work in software support too and I’ve seen plenty of eyebrow raising issues but this does sound fundamental. I suppose testing may have been lighter than the original 360 release (not sure how much of the code can be ported intact) but I/O issues are surely platform specific and worthy of extra diligence. I’m surprised it borks ‘dormant’ saves too unless the save has some sort of indexing file it is tied to and it is that that is screwing up.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. themadjock

    Thanks guys, I suggest not playing it until they fix it to preserve your save, wierd that even backup copies do not work? I will try to return it to game but I don’t hold up much hope after that I will sell on ebay and PERHAPS rent it again when ME3 is nearly released later in the year. At least is won’t now conflict with my Dead Space 2 playtime…. An in November I will probably be more interested in Uncharted 3 than ME3.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. SplatteredHouse

    @Hunam: Does the testing process not work on a priority of bug severity, and also, would they not aim to use conditions in their machine setup (so firmware, etc) to as closely replicate a typical scenario that the game is likely to run under? Clearly, it can’t be bug free, but there are bugs, and then there are bugs. It just doesn’t sit, that the problem could perhaps not have arisen, until the game was in people’s homes and many times the number of testers were playing. But, I am no tester, however.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Callum

    @ Hunam spoken like a pro ^^ Finding the bugs is one thing…finding the bugs you can safely fix is another thing entirely!

    #14 4 years ago
  15. MegaGeek1

    Oh man I will puke if this happens to me. Im 27hours in. I started a new game last night just to show my friend how awesome the opening is, and it looked like I lost my other save file. No word of a lie, I got mouth sweats and started gagging. I found it in the savefiles, I guess the game couldn’t immediately find it without me restarting the system. Needless to say I almost had a nervous breakdown.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Hunam


    It does. Crashes and data loss are something that is basically a no no. If you find one of those it will almost certainly get fixed. Of course testers try to replicate the home condition, in our testing, we even tested the finished game on home retail consoles to make sure it works as intended. But as ME2 shows, sometimes a worst case scenario is that due to time limit constants or 3rd party software changes something can go horribly wrong.

    To me, it sounds like an issue with the game recognising the profile and the save. Could be some bullshit permissions error. I’ve only worked on the xbox, but if a game ever borked a users profile I think MS would nuke the developer.

    It’s also worth noting that every platform holder to various degrees also tests the game for common issues and requirements. So neither EA nor Sony found this issue (or maybe reported the issue, or even made a deal to just fix it after release) so it’s snuck past a lot of barriers.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Callum

    lol MegaGeek…living up to your name dude :)

    #17 4 years ago
  18. ivycrew707

    I wonder if the people having the problem redeemed the code?

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Hunam

    Heh, if the Cerberus Network was borking save files there would be red on some devs faces :P

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Aimless

    I guess the problem lies in the way the game stores saves.

    It seems each character profile has a separate file but within that you have multiple save states, including character specific auto-saves. In other words if one state gets corrupted — be it due to an inopportune freeze, power outage, etc — everything related to that character becomes corrupted; making use of multiple save slots won’t help.

    Presumably BioWare will have to break out the save system so each save state/slot is a separate file. Sure they can try to combat the reason for the freezes, but even if they magically manage to stamp all of them out people’s saves will still be at risk if they are kept unified.

    If people are really worried about being affected, my advice would be to turn off auto-saving and record your progress manually. It’ll be a real pain but it should almost eradicate the risk of files becoming corrupted. Failing that, simply be careful when turning off your PS3 — I recommend doing so via the XMB — and hope you don’t get unlucky.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. osric90

    Wait for the update… Even so, the most of the people people saying this are Xbots.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. MegaGeek1

    @ Callum, why thank you :D

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Dralen

    I’ve been playing it for about 12 hours now and haven’t seen any of these issues.

    PS. I redeemed the code for the cerberus network.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Meghterb

    I just bought the game two days ago due to Sony’s failure in uploading the game on EU PSN.

    Now I’m scared.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Robo_1

    Oh man, I’ve just put five hours in, and this is really not the news I wanted to hear. I think I’ll backup my save file and plough on though, it’s sooooo good.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. itsucks

    It only… IS A PIECEOFSHIT3.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Blerk

    Ouch, this isn’t what you want to hear in a game this long. Think I’d be tempted to put it aside until the patch turns up.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. NinjaMidget

    I wouldn’t trade it in, money wasted! I think this happened to me, but I only lost around 20 minutes (even though I’d been playing for 5 or 6 hours!).

    #28 4 years ago
  29. Blerk

    Eurogamer’s report is saying that some people are complaining that it erased their ENTIRE DRIVE! :shock:

    #29 4 years ago
  30. Dralen

    I’ve backed up my game data on a usb just in case.

    A real shame this had to happen, because the game itself is perfect on the PS3. I played the PC version as well, and the graphics are very close to the PC version on the PS3.

    I really like the way you can choose what happens to your character in Mass Effect 1 at the beginning of the game.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Rob14

    56 Hours of Play Time. Level 30 Shepard and Crew. Everyone loyal. Defeated the Final Boss and was escaping the collector base, PS3 froze up. I restarted all my files gone!

    #31 4 years ago

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