Dark Horse Digital crashes over Mass Effect offer

An offer of free digital copies of every Mass Effect comic ever released has led to such demand that Dark Horse Digital's website has been blasted off the face of the Internet.

As part of its regular offers to tempt people into taking their comic-book reading habits into the digital realm - which, of course, eliminates printing costs and drastically lowers distribution costs - Dark Horse's online arm frequently offers discounted or free comics for reading on iPhone, iPad, or PC.

The company's latest offer is a doozy: every Mass Effect comic completely free for a 24-hour period. For fans of BioWare's award winning space opera series, that's a seriously tempting offer. When you learn that some of the comics cover the events leading up to the as-yet unreleased third game, it becomes a must-have.

Sadly, Dark Horse appears to have underestimated just how many Mass Effect fans there really are. Shortly after the company sent out details of the offer via e-mail, the website crashed under heavy demand. At the time of writing, it's still down.

It's not yet known whether Dark Horse will be extending the 24-hour deadline as a result of the outage.

UPDATE 11:09

The site is now back up, although still seems to be struggling: during our testing, we were unable to log in or to request a password reset e-mail. Dark Horse Comics has issued a statement confirming the issue. "We apologize for all the issues people are encountering with getting the Mass Effect comics from digital.darkhorse.com," the company's statement reads. "We have had overwhelming response to our giveaway, and it is causing some extreme lag in accessing the site, as well as the comics. If you are having issues getting through, please keep trying and have patience."