UPDATE: Grand Theft Auto IV is back where it belongs on Steam! Well, sort of. Having been unceremoniously pulled in January, GTA IV and its DLC has now been replaced by a single Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition which incorporates both the base game and the two Episodes From Liberty City expansion packs - The Ballad of Gay Tony & The Lost and the Damned.
It's GTA IV, minus all that Games For Windows Live guff which was making it a nightmare to run.
The catch? Grand Theft Auto 4's multiplayer has been completely stripped out. It was all intertwined with GFWL meaning Rockstar has been forced to remove the multiplayer mode and leaderboards in order to get GTA 4 running satisfactorily on Steam.
I'd personally say losing its multiplayer is price worth paying to have GFWL removed, although I'm sure there are still a select through who boot it up a session every now and then.
Still, the good news is, if you didn't previously own the Episodes From Liberty City but you did have GTA IV, you now own the whole lot. Rockstar will be pushing this update out at some point later today.
Original Story: 14-Jan-2020 - Grand Theft Auto IV no longer available on Steam store due to Games for Windows Live issue
Grand Theft Auto IV has been hit by the latest Games For Windows Live problem: users can no longer buy GTA IV on the Steam platform. Honestly, we thought the lingering issues of GfWL would finally be a thing of the past by now.
Rockstar issued a statement to US Gamer saying the delisting issue stems from “Microsoft no longer supporting Games For Windows Live” and “it is no longer possible to generate the additional keys needed to continue selling the current version of the game.”
Thankfully Rockstar also stated it is “looking at other options for distributing GTA4 for PC and will share more information as soon as we can." Fingers crossed you’ll be able to buy GTA IV online again sometime soon.
This may have something to do with Rockstar’s own launcher though - back in late 2019 when Rockstar released the Rockstar Games Launcher, GTA IV was noticeably missing from its library. Could Rockstar be trying to push users towards its new launcher? Maybe not, but with everybody creating their own launchers recently it’s definitely not off the table. If you're worried about being able to play the game then fear not, as offline single player definitely still works. Getting multiplayer to work however, is a much more complicated process.
I recently performed a fresh reinstall of GTA IV on Steam to check everything still works. I was prompted with a window which claimed I needed an Xbox account to save game progress (this is only if you want to unlock achievements, so don’t worry there is still an option for local saves) and play multiplayer. I logged into my Xbox account and launched the game, but upon starting a new game I was prompted to sign in again to the Games for Windows Live service in order to track achievements and play multiplayer. I tried to login using my Xbox account but this didn’t work. Some users have reported that their old GfWL account still works, whilst others have reported otherwise.
At first I tried an old fix which focused on updating the GfWL service to the Xbox service instead, though for some reason this did not work and I was still unable to play multiplayer. There is a much more complicated fix if you ran into the same problems as me and the above didn’t fix it. Here’s a link if you want to try it yourself. Let us know if this fix works for you. If it does then hey presto! Now you can finally answer Roman’s calls again, I hope he hasn’t missed me.
GTA IV isn't alone in having DRM and licensing problems though. Rockstar has faced similar difficulties with its games in the past, though mostly to do with music licensing issues. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was the most recent case of this when one of the songs used in the game had expired, so this latest news has been quite interesting considering GTA IV is almost 12 years old and Rockstar has had a considerable amount of time to prevent this issue. Many other games companies had already ditched the Games for Windows Live system back in 2013 when it was clear Microsoft was no longer supporting it.
Whatever the case, Rockstar will want to push as many users to its new launcher as possible, all with an eye to housing its entire back catalogue of titles. Yesterday we heard they were hiring a video editor for something exciting. Could it be the long-awaited GTA VI? Or Bully 2? Let us know your thoughts!