Grand Theft Auto 4 Returning to Steam, But Without Multiplayer

Grand Theft Auto 4 Returning to Steam, But Without Multiplayer

It'll also finally debut on the Rockstar Games Launcher.

Today, Rockstar Games has some good news and bad news for fans of Niko Bellic. After Grand Theft Auto 4 was removed from Steam last month without warning, Rockstar has announced that the game will return to PC via both Steam and the Rockstar Games Launcher next month. Unfortunately, it won't support multiplayer or leaderboards, and its soundtrack is being whittled down yet again with the temporary removal of some in-game radio stations.

On the Steam page for Grand Theft Auto 4, Rockstar announced the changes coming to the game's PC release on March 19. All PC versions of Grand Theft Auto 4 and the standalone Episodes from Liberty City campaigns will be upgraded to Grand Theft Auto 4: Complete Edition, and players' previous save files will continue to work.

Beginning next month, Grand Theft Auto 4 also won't be integrated with Microsoft's depreciated Games for Windows Live service anymore. After its sudden delisting last month, a Rockstar spokesperson told USG that the removal was prompted by an inability to generate new keys for the game through Games for Windows Live.

Since Games for Windows Live was also the basis for Grand Theft Auto 4's multiplayer functionality on PC, it seems Rockstar has opted not to implement a different multiplayer solution in its place.

The post on the Steam page also explains that three radio stations added in Episodes from Liberty City—RamJam FM, Self-Actualization FM, and Vice City FM—will be temporarily unavailable once Grand Theft Auto 4 is updated. In 2018, Rockstar released an update that removed a few dozen songs from Grand Theft Auto 4 as a result of lapsed licensing agreements. Rockstar does not specify whether the temporarily removed stations are slated to return with their original playlists or with a modified line-up.

Issues with music licensing and Games For Windows Live may have taken their toll on Grand Theft Auto 4, but they also speak to the longevity of Rockstar's catalogue. You can't quite play Grand Theft Auto 4 on PC the same way today that you did a decade ago, but one can hope that Rockstar has taken greater care in future-proofing its ports of Grand Theft Auto 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2.

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Mathew Olson

Reporter

Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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