The Epic Games Store promises to keep its weekly free games promotion running through to the end of this year, and for the most part it has served up fresh titles with plenty of advance notice, but today saw one of the free deals go up in smoke less than an hour before launch. Epic now says that Funcom's survival game Conan Exiles will not be released for free on the Games Store.
"The Epic Games Store team has decided that Conan Exiles will not be free, but will be available for purchase on the store at a later date," reads a tweet posted to the store's official account at 10:18 a.m. ET, less than an hour before the set of free games on Epic was set to switch over to include Exiles. No additional title is being offered in place of Conan Exiles, which leaves Hue, developer Fiddle Sticks's puzzle platformer, as this week's lone free title.
Conan Exiles was initially released into early access in 2017, and this would not have been the first time it was made available for free. A little over a year ago, it was released alongside The Surge as a monthly free title for PlayStation Plus members.
Funcom has yet to issue a statement regarding why the Epic Games Store launch has been pushed back. A representative for Epic emphasizes to USgamer that Exiles "won't be free as previously mentioned" once it is released for the store. USG has also reached out to Funcom and will update this post if we receive a comment.
This is the third time within the last month that Epic's free games program changed course shortly before a new week's selection was set to go live. Two weeks ago, 2017's The Escapists 2 was set to launch on the Epic Games Store as a free title—on the day it was set to go live, Epic announced that the release was being "temporarily delayed," and at the time of writing The Escapists 2 is still not available through Epic's storefront.
At the start of June, many expected Ark: Survival Evolved to be Epic's free title for Thursday, June 4. Instead, Epic offered Overcooked (which had previously been offered for free by Epic) and Ark: Survival Evolved was then offered for free on June 11, lining up with an anniversary celebration that had been delayed in light of the worldwide protests against police brutality.
In May, the Epic Games Store also strugged with connectivity issues as players tried to claim free copies of Grand Theft Auto 5. While Epic has kept up its promise of continually putting out new free games, some of them for more than a week at a time, today's Exiles change-up is just another example of some recent unpredictability.