(Don’t worry, there shall be no spoilers in this post.) Yes, winter is still coming to Westeros, but there was no way for potentially millions of Game of Thrones fans who count on HBO’s Go streaming service to glean any other developments with the multitudes of attractive, horny and murderous characters and their respective clans in the fourth season premiere Sunday night. That’s because the surge in demand crashed HBO Go for hours, unleashing vitriol worthy of a King Joffrey tantrum onto Twitter.
@HBOGO Since you like referencing Game of Thrones so much, here’s one for you. Fix your website or else I’ll cut off your dick like Theon
— PussyCATDaddy (@PussyCATDaddy) April 7, 2014
And that was one of the tame ones, folks.
HBO Go first acknowledged the problems that numerous users were reporting with streaming Game of Thrones at 9:12 p.m. EDT Sunday. Streaming began to be restored to some platforms a little over two hours later, but it wasn’t until after 1 a.m. on the east coast that HBO gave the all clear that things were fully back to normal.
The whole debacle was an unwelcome flashback for HBO Go users who endured the same streaming struggles when another outage struck as millions attempted to watch the season finale of True Detective.
Last month, following the True Detective outage, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes told investors at a conference that the company planned to improve the streaming system, according to Ad Age.
“We’re investing in HBO Go,” he said. ”We’ve got a lot of demand… We want to make HBO Go stronger.”
Apparently it didn’t build up its strength fast enough.
It’s tough to say from the outside if the issue is one of capacity or something more structural within the myriad networks and platforms that connect to HBO Go and how HBO Go itself manages all those connections. My assumption would be that adding more capacity would be one of the possible solutions that is easiest to achieve, which leads me to believe that either Time Warner is delinquent in implementing even the simplest redundancies to avoid outages, or there’s a deeper architectural problem afoot.
Whatever the problem is, HBO should certainly get it fixed quick in case its new show, Silicon Valley, becomes a big hit. That’s one show whose audience would surely be even less forgiving should there be an outage on the night of a highly anticipated season finale.