GTA 5 Is Free Right Now, But Epic Games Store Launcher Is Down With "Error 500"

Update: The Epic Games Store is having loading issues right now, with the browser showing a 403 Forbidden error page and the launcher sometimes showing a 500 error, likely due to a large number of people heading to the site to claim today’s free game, Grand Theft Auto V. However, as of 12:35 PM PT / 3:35 PM ET, we were able to claim GTA V for free directly in the Epic launcher, if you already have that downloaded. Epic confirmed in a tweet that it’s experiencing high traffic and slow loading times and that the team is “actively working to scale,” but there’s been no update for several hours. The store also just launched its annual Mega Sale to coincide with this week’s freebie.

Original story follows.

Epic Games Store’s next free game is a big one: Epic has confirmed Grand Theft Auto V – Premium Edition is the next free game available to claim and keep. GTA V is free now until next Thursday, May 21, at 8 AM PT / 11 AM ET, when it’ll be replaced by next week’s free mystery game. This comes after a deleted tweet earlier this week leaked the offer early. Please note you’ll need to turn on two-factor authentication to claim the game.

The Premium edition of GTA V includes the full story experience, free access to Grand Theft Auto Online, and all existing gameplay upgrades and content. You’ll also get the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack and $1,000,000 in-game bonus cash to spend in GTA Online.

To claim any Epic free games, all you need is a free Epic Games Store account to add the game to. Once you add the game to your cart and “purchase” it for zero dollars, it’ll be in your library forever, ready to download at your leisure.

Grand Theft Auto V is only the latest in a long list of free games Epic has given out since the program started in December 2018, with previous giveaways included other acclaimed titles like What Remains of Edith Finch, The Witness, Batman: Arkham Collection, Celeste, and more. You can check out our updated list of all of Epic’s past free games for a quick look at what’s been free in the past.

Grand Theft Auto V earned a “superb” 9/10 in GameSpot’s GTA V review, which has been updated for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One versions. Critic Mark Walton praised its stunning visuals, excellent first-person mode, and fantastic writing and voice acting.

“The fact that I’m even thinking about this at all in a video game that’s as popular and as, well, mainstream as GTA V is a testament to its quality,” he wrote. “Over a year later, GTA V remains one of the most consistently entertaining video games I’ve ever played. Even without the spectacular new visuals, first-person mode, the epic new rail gun, the new murder mystery missions for Michael, the new, even furrier animals, remote play support on PS4, a mountain of new songs on the radio (including my personal favourite, I Want It That Way by the Backstreet Boys on the pop station), and the return of vehicles like the classic Dodo seaplane, GTA V would be still be worth playing.”

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