UPDATED, 5/15, 7:10 a.m. PT: A crush of fans trying to get a free copy of Rockstar Games’ classic open-world game “Grand Theft Auto V” brought the Epic Games Store to its knees. By Friday, the company said the site was back up and running.
Epic Games announced Wednesday that through May 21, players can download “GTA V” for free, via the company’s games-launcher app for PC or Mac. That was through a tweet on its official account that has since been deleted.
In a tweet earlier Thursday, Epic Games acknowledged the technical problems with the digital store.
“We are currently experiencing high traffic on the Epic Games Store,” the post said. “We are aware that users may be encountering slow loading times, 500 errors, or launcher crashing at this time and we are actively working to scale. We’ll provide an update as soon as we can.”
At about 1 p.m. ET, the company added, “We appreciate your patience as we continue to work towards a resolution to mitigate traffic.” As of 4:45 p.m., however, the site was still displaying error messages to users trying to access the site.
In an email to Variety Friday morning, an Epic Games spokesman said, “Services should mostly be restored at the moment.” The rep declined to provide further details on the outage.
First released in 2013, “Grand Theft Auto V” had sold nearly 110 million copies as of the end of last year, according to Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar’s parent company. Rockstar recently released new free content updates for “GTA Online,” including the Diamond Casino Heist, featuring new weapons and vehicles and with different scenarios unfolding in response to player’s choices as they prepare to execute a takedown of the most secure building in Los Santos.