While the promotion on GTA 5 lasts until May 21, 2020, enough consumers were so eager to get the game as soon as possible that the storefront couldn’t take the traffic. The game is just the latest to be offered for free for a limited time on the store, encouraging more people to get into the ecosystem and move away from Steam.
In a statement, Epic Games explained that they were seeing higher than usual traffic. They added that users may experience slower loading times as a result of this increased traffic. They also made it clear that some users could even see Error 500 messages, and full blown crashes of the Epic Games Store.
The company later updated users to inform them that they were working to scale the store for the level of traffic it was experiencing. This would allow the store to process all the new traffic, though it would cause it to be significantly slower than usual.
After around 12 hours, Epic Games made a post on Twitter explaining that the issues on the store had mostly been fixed. Updates that provided resolution to the issues were pushed, allowing everyone to access the Epic Games Store to get GTA 5, and the Launcher to play it too.
Following these issues, Epic Games explained that they were monitoring the store and its traffic, and would be actively working to ensure that further downtime was not experienced.
The reason that this free game has been so popular on the Epic Games Store is because it’s not just an offer for the latest Grand Theft Auto game. Included with GTA 5 is GTA Online, one of the biggest and most popular online games at the moment.
Rockstar Games has built GTA Online into an MMO that players enjoy daily, logging in to play for hours at a time, generating a significant amount of revenue for the game’s developer and publisher.