Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto 5 will be available free Thursday morning on the Epic Games Store. Free games are available weekly on the platform; last week it was an indie game called Death Coming. The Windows PC version of GTA 5 will be the upcoming week’s game, unlocked at 11 a.m. EDT as a free download until May 21, according to Epic Games.
News of the game’s Thursday release leaked via an early tweet from the Epic Games Store’s Twitter account on Wednesday night. Though GTA 5 was released way back in 2013, it remains a popular title. In the past year, role-playing servers in Grand Theft Auto Online have exploded in popularity on Twitch. Sales of the six-and-a-half-year-old game remain high — in fact, 2019 was one of its best years ever. In the past month, GTA Online’s influence spread well beyond the boundaries of the game’s servers: An in-game war between green and purple aliens took over YouTube and TikTok.
Players that download GTA 5 before the week is up will be able to keep (and play) the game for free beyond May 21. The only requirement to add it to one’s Epic Games Store library is that users enable two-factor authentication on their accounts. Epic Games began implementing this program on April 28. It’ll expire on May 21, when players will no longer be required to enable the security feature.
Epic Games has been offering free games on its platform since 2019. It announced at the start of this year that it’d continue doing so weekly throughout 2020.
It’s been a busy week for Epic Games. On Wednesday, the company announced the next version of its game engine, Unreal Engine 5. Part of that announcement was an engine demo running on a PlayStation 5. It also announced that battle royale Fortnite will come to Xbox Series X and PS5 at launch, and showcased Epic Online Services, which give developers access to new tools.
Update: The Premium Edition of Grand Theft Auto 5 is officially this week’s free game at the Epic Games Store — but it isn’t actually available for most people yet, because interest in the game appears to have sent a flood of traffic to the store, causing a raft of issues.
“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,” Epic Games said on Twitter.
We are currently experiencing high traffic on the Epic Games Store.— Epic Games Store (@EpicGames) May 14, 2020
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.
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