The Epic Games Store surprised fans with the free release of "Grand Theft Auto V" on Thursday, but the big rush to download the game caused server errors across the platform.
It is a known issue that affects games beyond "GTA V." In fact, users who try to access the company's website in the U.S. are receiving error messages.
"We are currently experiencing high traffic at the Epic Games Store," wrote Epic Games on Twitter at 11:05 am ET. "We are aware that users may experience slow load times, 500 errors or initiator failure at the moment and we are actively working to escalate. We will provide an update as soon as possible."
In an update at 12:58 pm ET, the company wrote: "We understand that many users are currently unable to access the Epic Games Store. We appreciate your patience as we continue to work towards a solution to mitigate traffic."
The problem seems to stem from an underestimation of how much interest there would be in the game, originally released in 2013. With a week window reported for users to download before the deal disappears, the frenzy might have been anticipated.
When the servers return, users who want to download "GTA V" for free will need to use two-factor authentication.
We will update this post as corrections and news about the Epic Games Store shutdown become available.
UPDATE 2:45 pm ET: Parts of the Epic Games website, including account sign-up and community forums, are now operational. The store itself remains down.
UPDATE 15:45 ET: Users are starting to access the store and start downloads. If you are having problems, it is worth trying again.
UPDATE 20:00 ET: Now, most users in the US should be able to download "GTA V" for free on PCs using the Epic Games Store.
For now, find some comfort in the wave of Twitter jokes, finding humor in the situation: