Another day, another major online game launching to clogged servers and login errors. Today the problems are plaguing Grand Theft Auto V, which turned on its included Grand Theft Auto Online mode around 7am ET this morning and quickly ran in to problems fulfilling demand for server resources.
"GTA Online should be live now... Demand is high!" PlayStation Europe warned via tweet when the downloadable title updates enabling the mode rolled out. Indeed, Rockstar's support site lists six distinct issues players are running into, including unavailable servers, freezing when joining online game sessions, hosting failures, and matchmaking timeouts. The support site's "trending questions" page is currently glutted with disgruntled fans, some of whom are calling it the "worst online launch ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (yes, those exclamation points are in the original).
It's not like this was unexpected. In a blog post last week, Rockstar warned that it was expecting gameplay servers to be overloaded early on due to higher-than-expected early sales for the game.
"One thing we are already aware of, and are trying to alleviate as fast as we can, is the unanticipated additional pressure on the servers due to a significantly higher number of players than we were anticipating at this point," Rockstar wrote. "We are working around the clock to buy and add more servers, but this increased scale is only going to make the first few days even more temperamental than such things usually are."
It was only seven months ago that SimCity players found extremely busy servers getting in the way of their launch gameplay, and a bit more than a year since Diablo III players ran into similar issues.