Big quote: “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.” — Rockstar Games
Rockstar announced it will bring GrandTheft Auto IV back to Steam in March. Last month we reported that the publisher had pulled the game due to problems stemming from it using the now-defunct Games for Windows Live (GFWL) platform.
It was unclear at the time what Rockstar’s plans were for the game. The most obvious solution would have been to patch GFWL out of the title. However, the developer was vague about the future of the game, only saying that it was “looking at other options for distributing GTA IV for PC.”
On Tuesday, Rockstar confirmed that it is removing GFWL from GTA IV. It will be returning the game to Steam next month on March 19. The update will combine GTA IV and GTA: Episodes from Liberty City into one package called Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition. Owners of either of the former will be able to upgrade to Complete Edition.
Unfortunately, the updated game will no longer support multiplayer mode or leaderboards. Rockstar did not say why it removed multiplayer. The most probable reason is that GFWL served as the backbone for MP mode. Developers would likely have had to rebuild the entire multiplayer infrastructure.
The publisher also said that a few of the radio stations would be temporarily unavailable, including RamJam FM, Self-Actualization FM, and Vice City FM. Two years ago, Rockstar removed several songs from the game, as well as the entire Russian station Vladivostok FM because of expired licensing agreements. It is unclear if it has run into a similar situation with the three stations it is temporarily removing, but that seems like a reasonable guess considering the game has been around for 12 years. However, Rockstar did promise that the stations would be returning.