The platform, which Microsoft closed down in 2013, has never had its service in patched out by Rockstar. It’s been causing numerous problems for GTA IV players over the years, and now has caused issues for Rockstar, too. A spokesperson for Rockstar told The Verge,
“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.”
While those who currently own the game can still play, anyone looking to purchase GTA IV will have to wait while Rockstar finds alternative means of distribution. It’s possible we could see the game make a move from Steam to Rockstar’s own dedicated launcher.
Before Rockstar’s statement, speculation had begun to grow around the reason for the game’s removal. Music licenses expiring was cited as a potential reason, with Rockstar already having replaced numerous tracks back in 2018. Rockstar also had GTA Vice City briefly delisted in 2012 over expired music licenses.
GTA IV isn’t the first game to fall victim to GFWL’s demise. Publishers like 2K, Bandai Namco, and Capcom have already had to shed the dead weight of GWFL, though they did it several years ago.
Thankfully, Rockstar’s newer iteration is a little easier to get hold of. The game recently joined the Xbox Game Pass lineup, making it easier than ever to pick up and play. While you may not be able to go bowling, the game is still a hell of a lot of fun. It’s also the highest-grossing media title ever, which is pretty impressive if you ask us.
Lover of JRPGs and visual novels. Still trying to get Wolfgang back in my village after losing him in Animal Crossing: Wild World.