‘GTA V’ Is Free On PC Right Now, Here’s How
Update 5/15: GTA 5 is now free on the Epic Games Store, as the rumors suggested. But it was a bit of a whirlwind day for the storefront: word had spread that the game was going to be made free, and the Epic Games Store went down moments after the it went live, sending people to error screens or even sometimes loading the storefront in the wrong language. It took hours for things to stabilize, affecting the PC and mobile versions of Fortnite in the process.
As of Friday morning, however, the store is loading normally. So all you have to do to get your free copy of GTA 5 is to download the Epic Games Store, which many PC users already have because it’s also the Fortnite launcher. Then navigate to the store and head to GTA 5 right there in the middle. It will look like a game purchase, but the price will be zero. You might as well get it even if your PC cant run it, because someday you might have a PC that can. Once you redeem it, its yours forever.
It’s a huge get for Epic Games, which is primarily concerned with bringing as many users as possible to its still-young Steam competitor. The company has been aggressive about spending its Fortnite money on building the store ever since it launched, but this represents one of its biggest moves since the earliest exclusives. We don’t know the details of the deal—it helps that Rockstar makes a lot of money off of microtransactions in GTA Online, so it stands to gain with a limited free period just on its own. But my guess is Epic still paid a fair amount for such a major deal.
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GTA V may have just left its stint on game pass, but it seems like we might be getting another chance to pick it up for free, and soon, according to a rumor. Epic Games has been giving out free games on its PC store since it launched, but it’s giving us an unusual amount of hype for whatever is coming tomorrow, May 14, listing it as a “mystery game” and giving us a countdown until when it will be available. It stands to reason it would be something big.
Game Pressure is currently reporting an anonymous source that says that this mystery game will be GTA V. It would arguably be a bigger deal than the game coming to Game Pass, because once you download a free game from Epic, it’s yours to keep. While we take this rumor and all such rumors with a grain of salt, this one would seem to make a certain sort a sense.
GTA V still sells a huge number of retail copies, but microtransactions in GTA Online are a big part of how Rockstar makes money. A good number of those downloads have to be from people who would not have bought the game anyways, bringing even more people into the already impressive GTA Online network. There’s an absolute ton of stuff to do in the game right now, and it’s easy to imagine quarantined gamers snatching it up. Rockstar has shown its willingness to give the thing away with Game Pass, and so Epic wouldn’t be a gigantic leap.
And we remember, too, that GTA 6 is out there, at some stage in development, and that the day will eventually come when it actually comes out. It might be years from now, or it might not be. Regardless, GTA 5 is the best tool Rockstar has in its arsenal to hype GTA 6, even if GTA 6 might not actually need all that much hyping, at the end of the day. It makes good sense to keep the game as present as possible, for as long as possible.
We’ll see what happens tomorrow. If so, it would definitely do what the free game program is supposed to do: drive a whole bunch more people to the Epic Games Store, and get them to open the launcher on a regular basis with a popular game.The controversy surrounding the Epic Games Store seems to have died down, to a certain degree, but the free games have quietly constituted one of the most staggeringly generous programs on the industry: I’ve gotten dozens of games small and large without paying a dime, and my Epic library is now stacked to the gills with games. Games I’ve never played, admittedly, but still.