Here's Why Grand Theft Auto IV Was Removed From Steam

Steam users were recently surprised to discover that the Grand Theft Auto franchise was now missing a game previously available on the platform: Grand Theft Auto IV. The Windows version of GTA IV was made available in 2008, leading many to speculate regarding the reasoning behind the game being pulled. After all, this isn't the first time a game in the franchise mysteriously disappeared from the service. In 2012, Vice City had to be pulled temporarily due to a copyright claim on the game's music. Perhaps not content to let people wonder, Rockstar issued a statement to The Verge, blaming Microsoft's lack of support for Games For Windows Live as the culprit.

"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 GTAIV for PC and will share more information as soon as we can.”

Microsoft's abandoned support for Games For Windows Live has apparently proven problematic for games in the past, including BioShock 2. Several publishers made changes to their games when Microsoft ended support for the service in 2013, though Grand Theft Auto IV has apparently faced issues on Steam since, as a result. Fans should be happy to hear that Rockstar is planning to look into options to fix the game. After all, Steam has a number of other Grand Theft Auto titles available, and GTA IV is more than a decade old, at this point. Given the game's age, Rockstar very well could have just pulled the game on a permanent basis, rather than fix the issue. Fortunately, it doesn't seem like that will be the case!

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Set in Liberty City, Grand Theft Auto IV essentially acted as a reboot, ignoring the events of previous games in the franchise. The title casts players in the role of Eastern European immigrant Niko Bellic, as he attempts to deal with the Bratva. Like Vice City, Grand Theft Auto IV also faced issues with licensed music, and temporarily had tracks removed from the game. Those tracks were added back in August 2019, however.

Did you try to purchase Grand Theft Auto IV on Steam? What's your favorite entry in Rockstar's franchise? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!