Game saving and loading in editor but not on android device

I have an android project, it’s finished and live on the play store

problem is, I’ve mostly been testing in editor since I don’t have an android device handy and the things that I do need to test natively like ads and IAPs I use and emulator for.

my problem is that in editor, the game works flawlessly, it saves and loads the variables I specify without problems, however when I build the game and test it on my emulator the game doesn’t save anymore.

at first I thought maybe it was a problem with the emulator so I had a friend download it and test it on his device, same problem.

my setup for saving is as follows, in the begin play event, I look for an existing saved game, if there is one I save it to a variable, if there isn’t I create one,
when I need to save I just modify the value of the variable I want in the saved game variable I created in the previous step and then call the “Save game to slot” function.

I’m really stuck here so any help would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.