Update [May 15, 8:50 a.m. PT]: Epic says it has deployed updates for these issues, and most users should be able to access both the Store and launcher at this point in time. They'll provide updates if further issues appear, but you should be good to grab your free GTA5 right now.
The original story follows:
Grand Theft Auto 5 is the free game this week on the Epic Games Store. But the old game is still so popular that many people are clogging the store's servers, all trying to get their free copy.
The free game was leaked through a since-deleted tweet, and indeed, I've been able to log on and verify that Grand Theft Auto 5 is currently free on the store. Accessing it has been a different matter though, as throughout the day, the store has been failing to load, popping up with 500 errors, or sometimes changing languages.
The Epic Games Store account tweeted out that it was aware of ongoing issues, and was working to actively scale up for the high traffic. "We understand that many users are unable to access the Epic Games Store at this time," a follow-up tweet reads. "We appreciate your patience as we continue to work towards a resolution to mitigate traffic."
Once the problem resolves, a free PC copy of Grand Theft Auto 5 is a deal you should probably take advantage of while it's around. It still holds up fairly well despite being a generation old, thanks in part to its ever-evolving online community. The single-player side is well-known, but GTA Online has grown and changed over the years to be its own kind of crime sandbox. Hell, it even has alien gang wars these days.
Hopefully the server problems can be resolved soon and folks can get on with their crime sprees. Grand Theft Auto 5 is set to be free on the Epic Games Store until May 21.