You can thank Games For Windows Live for the GTA 4 Steam delisting

We reported on the delisting of Grand Theft Auto 4 from Steam on Friday. Since then, Rockstar has addressed the removal of the ability to purchase GTA4 on the Steam store. As we hypothesized in our initial article, fans can thank the title’s integration of the now-defunct and much-reviled Games For Windows Live service for the delisting.

According to USGamer, Rockstar Games replied to an inquiry on the delisting with the following statement:

“Grand Theft Auto 4 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 GTA4 for PC and will share more information as soon as we can.”

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How hard it’ll be to remove the Games For Windows Live functionality from GTA 4 is anyone’s guess. Some titles integrated with the service have later released patches that removed it entirely. Others have simply left it intact, often forcing players to use workarounds to play the game.

This isn’t the first time PC players have had issues with Grand Theft Auto 4 either. In April 2018, the licensing expired for a large chunk of the game’s soundtrack, and Rockstar removed a swath of songs in an update. Just over a year later, in August 2019, the game received an unannounced patch that restored the soundtrack to its original state on Xbox 360. Unfortunately, fan elation was to be short-lived as the patch restoring the songs seemed to be a mistake. The next day the songs were once again removed.

Fortunately, though Grand Theft Auto 4 isn’t available on Steam, both of the standalone Episodes from Liberty City DLCs can still be purchased and played. Hopefully, we’ll see the return of GTA4 to Steam soon, preferably with the irritating Games For Windows Live integration removed.