GTA IV has disappeared from Steam because of Games for Windows Live

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

You may or may not have noticed that Grand Theft Auto IV is no longer available on Steam. Although it is an older title, it is arguably the best game in the GTA franchise. The removal of the purchasing link for its page was because of problems with Microsoft's Games for Windows Live (GFWL) platform. Rockstar confirmed that this is the case in a statement to The Verge:

“Grand Theft Auto IV was originally created for the Games For Windows Live platform. With Microsoft no longer supporting Games For Windows Live, it is no longer possible to generate the additional keys needed to continue selling the current version of the game. We are looking at other options for distributing GTA IV for PC and will share more information as soon as we can.”

Microsoft shuttered the Games for Windows Live store in 2013, marking the start of a phase-out of the platform that launched in 2007. Ultimately, Redmond decided that it did not make sense to continue GFWL support as it was competing with Xbox Live, and ended support in 2014. Players were only able to redeem points on one or the other. Plus it got in the way of its plans for cross-compatibility.

Since it axed the platform, many users have complained about GFWL causing problems with some games, including GTA IV. While there are workarounds, they are quite a hassle. So much so that people have posted lengthy guides on how to get the game to run.

In light of this, Rockstar decided to stop selling it until it finds a distribution solution that works. Apparently, the company feels patching GFWL out of a twelve-year-old title is not in the budget, but did not specifically exclude this as an option. Although, it might not have been so troublesome had the studio addressed the issue as other publishers did back in 2013 when it was clear that the troubled platform was on the way out.

What is even more confusing is that Rockstar updated the game not quite two years ago to remove songs that had had their licensing expire. Of course, deleting song files and altering the code that calls them is a far easier fix than trying to sort out the GFWL mess.

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Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member
The greatest GTA... I can get over it if 6 isn't so cartoony like 5 was.
I agree. GTA4 was definitely the best of the bunch. Also the only one I completed the story on. I always get distracted in GTA games by things like seeing how long I can survive on a five star wanted level, or finding other random stuff to do. GTA4 was the first with a story I actually wanted to finish, which gave me high hopes for 5's story, but alas I never finished it either. Although I have to admit I really liked the Trevor character and think the whole game should have revolved around him instead of splitting the the plot into three stories.
 

Eldritch

TS Maniac
Rockstar needs GOG.com .
PC version of Red Dead Redemption 2 is still uncracked. I know DRM sucks but why would they leave DRM when it generates them millions in sale?
Lets face it Rockstar games make some of the very best games in the world and like Cd projekt Red, they deserve the money. Cd projekt Red made GoG which is awesome but relying on honor of students and kids is not best financial strategy.

PS : I buy games from both GoG and Rockstargames.
 

GeforcerFX

TS Evangelist
Xliveless makes GFWL no longer a requirement for GTA IV and all you have to do is put a few files into the games directory, ohh so difficult. At least GTA IV is on Xbox one backwards compatibility so it will live on for the future on consoles (until rockstar releases and remastered version someday I would guess)
 
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isamuelson

TS Booster
Rockstar needs GOG.com .
And those of us that purchased GTA IV through Steam should be able to just use that CD key to get it from GOG.

I'm assuming if you've purchased the game through Steam you can still access, install and patch it to work? I haven't checked to see if it's still there for me and I've never finished it. I need to get back to it and finish it some day. :)
 

amstech

IT Overlord
Ohh god that was the biggest pain ever!
I got it working for a bit, then it bugged out again.
Washed my hands of it, never tried it again, just played on console.
 

jpuroila

TS Booster
PC version of Red Dead Redemption 2 is still uncracked. I know DRM sucks but why would they leave DRM when it generates them millions in sale?
Lets face it Rockstar games make some of the very best games in the world and like Cd projekt Red, they deserve the money. Cd projekt Red made GoG which is awesome but relying on honor of students and kids is not best financial strategy.

PS : I buy games from both GoG and Rockstargames.
Just because DRM works doesn't mean it increases sales. People mostly pirate when buying legitimately is either not an option(due to, for example, lack of funds), or is less convenient than pirating. I'm sure there are people who pirate for the sake of pirating, but as far as I can tell, those are a rather small group compared to the former two.
 
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