Anthem Players Say The Game Is Shutting Down And Even Sometimes Bricking Their PS4s

Screenshot: EA, Anthem

It’s been a rough launch for BioWare’s new loot shooter, and some PlayStation 4 players are now finding that the game occasionally shuts off their system as well.

“When encountering a crash or game error, sometimes I get booted to the main menu or out of the game completely to the PS4 dashboard,” a user who goes by ForTheMasters posted on the game’s subreddit over the weekend. “But twice now when trying to matchmake my PS4 has completely turned off.” The rest of the thread is filled with other commenters saying the same thing has happened to them on both the standard PS4 and PS4 Pro, sometimes completely out of the blue, other times while they’re trying to exit the game. The PS4 then treats it as an improper shut off, as if the power cord had been pulled.

There are several reports on the game’s official forum of this happening as well. “The console powers down and will not power on using the normal method of pressing the PS4 button on the controller,” wrote one player.

“It is the same as if someone pulled the plug without properly shutting the hardware down or if the power went out in the house. Sometimes the button on the front of the console works, other times I have to unplug the console then plug it back in.”

Neither Sony nor EA immediately responded to a request for comment.

Screenshot: spllitz, YouTube

As any PS4 user who’s occasionally unplugged their console forgetting it was in rest mode knows, the PS4 does not like this and displays a warning saying to never do it again when it happens. It then goes through a short process of checking the internal database for any issues before turning back off again and then restarting as normal. The PS4 will then display the error code CE-36329-3 if there was some problem with the console’s software.

One player even says the game bricked their console. “PSA to any Anthem players on Playstation that experience complete shut downs of their consoles: STOP PLAYING!” user TheMadTitanGuantlet posted on Reddit last night. “My playstation has been completely bricked to the point of not even turning on because of Anthem.”

They said they really like the game despite all the issues and just wanted to warn other players about the potential danger to their consoles. In a follow-up email to Kotaku, the person said they were playing on the Call of Duty: WWII limited edition PS4, which came out only a year and a half ago.

We’ve also gotten tips from players affected by the issue, including at least one who says that Anthem bricked their PS4 as well.

I’ve been playing Anthem on my launch edition PS4 with the glass cabinet doors of my TV cabinet open for fear the system might overheat. The console’s fan has been putting in major work with a lot of recent games like Spider-Man and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, but Anthem has taken it to a new level. I’ve also experienced the shutdown issue. but only when I fall asleep playing. Instead of my system eventually going into rest mode, I’ll wake up the next day to find it unresponsive until I manually push the power button.

It’s unclear if the shutdown problem is indeed heating related or caused by something else. Whatever the cause, there’s currently a long list of tweets at the AskPlaystation Twitter account asking for refunds due to the issue. A few people on Reddit claim to have gotten their money back, while others said they were unsuccessful.


    isn't there a specific error code for overheating? I would imagine PS4 has a range of error codes like XBox but Anthem maxes the CPU on my PC as well most of the times so I'm not that surprised if Anthem has performance issues on the PS4 (or consoles in general).

    I mean I realise I'm not using the latest generation but running a Gen 6 i7 with a 1080 and 32Gb memory isn't exactly falling into the min spec range, it doesn't matter what presets or custom I try it just sits at 100% most of the time.

      They might be using the DRM Denuvo. I think that was blamed for the same issues with Assassin Creed games on PC? CPU's were almost constantly at maximum.

        really? could be then because Anthem is 100% on the Denuvo train but I swear I have no issue with other Denuvo games (Monster Hunter if i remember correctly uses it)

        I guess it could be an implementation thing, like turning on certain features

          It appears it may have been the combination of Denuvo and VMProtect

          I'm not sure if EA are using anything other DRM ontop of Denuvo. There's always the chance the DRM and the game itself aren't optimised well.

            Would Denuvo be used on the console versions?

            Either way, there are other games that launched with Denuvo then patched it out afterwards. Cant remember which game it was, but at least one justified it by effectively saying that the DRM was only useful during the launch window, and after that initial peak of sales just became an anchor serving no purpose.

            hmm EA Origin is basically another form of DRM so bascially you have Denuvo, Origin and possibly an unoptimised engine

            yea not surprised there's problems lol...

              All the problems you guys are discussing are PC specific. They wouldnt be an issue for the console version, which wouldnt have Origin getting in the way, and doesnt use Denuvo. Both of those are PC only.

              This story is about the PS4 crashing, and doesnt mention PC anywhere I can see.

                fair point but not sure what gave you the idea that Denuvo is PC only. it even explictly says on their website ( that it works across desktop, mobile, console and VR

                  When looking last night, I came across a few stories stating it was PC only, that's all. If it isn't, so be it, but I cant remember it being an issue on consoles anyway. Not like it is on PC, which was the point.

                  That may be because you cant measure the impacts as easily on console as PC, or it may be that cracking is less an issue on consoles these days, or it may be that developers don't actually use it for the console versions, I don't know.

                  When searching on denuvo though, everything I can find points back to a PC source or story. Whether its a story on PC performance suffering, or a Steam thread, I cant find a link back to any other platform using it, so if they do, its nowhere near as widely used as it is on PC. Which means it amounts to nearly the same thing, and is predominantly PC.

                  But, their website does claim to be cross platform, so fair enough. Maybe it is an issue.

    Clearly just the PS4's customer protection kicking in to shield them from Anthem.

    Been crashing my Xbox since day one, not that often but it has happened.

    L O L !

    I'm sorry, the master race can't hear the crying of the console peasants ;)

      What's that saying about Stones and glass houses?

        Trust me, we have enough panels taken out on our versions of the glass house without worrying about the console issues too lol

        I am only joking, anyway.

    What's funnier is reading some of the comments on the anthem Reddit from fanboys in denial over this. Some have said these people with bricked consoles are lying and are just haters.

    I thought this game was shit, This incident just cemented my opinion of it even further.

      I'm no fanboy but without proof it doesn't matter if there are a million posts to reddit claiming the game bricked their console. If the issue is as widespread and legitimate as they claim then there would've been a streamer using external capture hardware when his console locked, rebooted, and was then bricked.

      When did we stop needing proof of things before we believe them?

        You are a fanboy.

        You are denying the shutdowns are even happening. EA themselves have acknowledged the issue.

        Stop defending a broken game.

          The game's crashing, yeah. Crashing and bricking are 2 different things. No one's proven/admitted that the game is bricking consoles.

    The game crashes pretty regularly on my PC with anything from blue screens to system hangs, and I have exactly zero issues with every other game I play. The game definitely has a lot of problems, i'm not really surprised by this news.

    I had this problem in the first week of release. It started with application errors and then my PS4 Pro started to just turn off while playing. I decided to turn off Boost Mode in the system settings and it's never happened since

    No PS4s have been bricked. Just load in safe mode and rebuild the database. Problem solved.

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