For the past week or so, the Epic Games Store has been giving away a game every day for anyone who logged in and claimed it, but when one big game hit the store, it brought the whole thing down.
The game in question is Death Stranding, which was first released in 2019, made by Kojima Productions. It was the first game released by the studio, a high-profile release after Hideo Kojima left Konami after a tense relationship with the company.
The Epic Games Store was flooded with players keen to grab the high-profile game for free, and so many players rushed to it that the entire store was taken down for several hours in what seems to have been a server failure. It also seems like there was a small error on Epic’s behalf, as the Director’s Cut of the game was offered for a brief period when the deal started, but was changed to the standard edition shortly after.
Epic’s storefront remained largely inaccessible for most for several hours following the announcement, but seems to be back up and running now, with only small amounts of slowdown here and there as players race to get their free games.
Death Stranding, like much of Kojima’s body of work, is quite a strange game indeed in terms of storytelling, with mind-bending twists and turns and classic, off-the-wall futurism. The gameplay itself, however, is a little less unusual, largely consisting of navigating hostile and difficult terrain to deliver packages around America on your back.
While the game’s been around for a couple of years, the hype surrounding it has never been higher, after a few high-profile events thrust it back into the limelight. The first was the release of the Director’s Cut, an enhanced and expanded version of the game for PS5 and later PC.
Earlier this year, the base game was also included in Microsoft’s game subscription service PC Game Pass, though notably it’s not available on Xbox consoles, at least not yet. That’s likely because the console version of the game is published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, while the PC version is published by 505 games, and it’s hard to imagine Sony wants the game it publishes on a competing console.
The game’s universe is getting bigger, too, with Death Stranding 2 getting announced at the Game Awards earlier this month with a typically strange trailer. Death Stranding was also announced to be getting a movie adaptation, and it sounds as if Kojima has bigger plans than just a straight up adaptation, instead making the film more of an expansion of the game’s universe, rather than a retelling.
Written by Oliver Brandt on behalf of GLHF.