House of the Dragon causes HBO Max tech issues

In what has become something of an unfortunate habit for the streamer, Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max suffered technical issues on Sunday night due to the premiere of House of the Dragon.

The series is a spin-off from HBO’s iconic Game of Thrones, and has been one of the brand’s most hotly-anticipated launches in years.

However, The Verge has reported that the streaming app suffered significant technical difficulties – particularly for users of Amazon’s Fire TV platform. There appeared to be no one issue in particular, with multiple users saying that the app was crashing when they tried to watch the show and others reporting stuttering and other visual problems.

In a statement sent to the outlet, HBO Max comms boss Chris Willard said: “House of the Dragon is being successfully viewed by millions of HBO Max subscribers this evening. We’re aware of a small portion of users attempting to connect via Fire TV devices that are having issues and are in the process of resolving for those impacted users.”

In further clarification provided to Digital TV Europe, a spokesperson said that Fire users were informed of a workaround to watch the show involving going into any other video within the app and turning subtitles off. This, they said, solved any issues that users encountered in watching House of the Dragon.

This is not the first time that HBO Max has struggled with increased demand on the launch of high-profile content. The app crashed in its entirety ahead of the season 2 finale of Euphoria, while earlier iterations of the HBO app prior to its repackaging as HBO Max also struggled to handle the increased demand around the latter seasons of Game of Thrones.

WBD will point to creaky architecture as one of the reasons why it is planning to launch an entirely new streamer and app next summer, as the company gears up to combine HBO Max and discovery+ into one international DTC service next year.

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