HBO GO went down during Sunday night’s season four premiere of “Game of Thrones,” one of the network’s most highly anticipated broadcasts after fans had similar issues tuning into the “True Detective” finale through the HBO service.
The streaming service was either taking excessively long periods of time to load or displaying the message, “Fatal error – Failed to load the service error definitions.” HBO GO acknowledged the problem on Twitter, advising subscribers that they were working on the problem, and instructing them to “send a raven.”
“Looks like there’s trouble in the realm. Apologies for the inconvenience. We’ll be providing updates, so please stay tuned. #GameofThrones” HBO Twitted.
HBO blamed the problems on “excessive volume.” The premium cable service also promised to provide the episode on HBO On Demand soon for those with certain cable providers.
Many fans hit Twitter, Reddit and other websites to express their unhappiness at being unable to watch the episode. It’s unclear how many users were affected, but it’s understood that some of the problems had already been fixed shortly after 7 p.m. PT.
HBO told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement later Sunday night: “HBO GO did experience issues due to overwhelming demand around the premiere of Game of Thrones.The service has returned to several platforms and we are working hard towards full recovery, which we expect soon.”
The premiere episode is titled “Two Swords” reveals the aftermath of the explosive wedding reception in season 3, as creators of the show have promised a dramatic start to the new season for fans.
In tonight’s premiere episode the synopsis has said, “Tyrion welcomes a surprise guest to King’s Landing for the royal wedding, but fears he’s come to the Red Keep for something else.”
It adds, “Meanwhile, Jon warns his skeptical Night’s Watch superiors about an impending attack; Jaime struggles to regain his status at home; Arya encounters a face from her past; and Daario Naharis discusses strategy with Daenerys on the journey to the slave city Meereen.”
This is not the first time something similar has happened to HBO. Last month, the season finale of “True Detective” also proved overwhelming for the website, and HBO Go addressed the issue on Twitter then as well after the complaints began to roll in, Variety says.
In the wake of the “True Detective” crash, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes pledged at an investor conference to invest more into HBO Go in order to keep these kind of malfunctions from happening again.
HBO Go is available only to viewers who currently subscribe to HBO, but many viewers are known to “piggy back,”using login credentials from friends and family members to log in tyo the service. And HBO says it’s okay with that.
Other online subscription services such as Netflix strictly regulate who may log in and who can’t, but to HBO, allowing the technically unauthorized log-ins is just another way to market their service.
“What we’re in the business of is building addicts, building video addicts,” said HBO boss Richard Plepler, “and the way we do that is exposing our product and our shows and our brand to more and more people.”