GTA IV was mysteriously delisted on Steam a few days ago, with no reason given as to the game’s sudden removal. It now turns out that the game’s vanishing act is due to an issue with Games For Windows Live.
The game’s disappearance from Valve’s storefront was spotted on the 10th, by Twitter user @Nitomatta. It was assumed by many that the reason for the removal was due to music licenses expiring, which has been a previous issue with GTA IV.
A spokesperson from Rockstar confirmed to both The Verge and USGamer that the reason for the delisting was that as Microsoft no longer supports Games For Windows Live, Rockstar can no longer generate the keys required to sell the current version of GTA IV.
You can read Rockstar’s statement in full below:
“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.”
If you already own GTA IV on Steam, you can keep playing it as normal. Only people looking to purchase the game on PC are currently out of options but, as seen above, Rockstar is working on an alternative.
Games For Windows Live was officially closed by Microsoft in 2013, but several games kept its login system integrated into their games and Microsoft said it would continue to support the service. The service’s closure was bypassed by instead asking players to log into their Xbox Live accounts while playing games.
In the meantime, Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City is still available on Steam. GTA: Episodes from Liberty City is a standalone game that contains both The Lost And Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. You don’t need to own GTA IV to play it.
Just be aware that as Games For Windows Live no longer works, you may have to find a workaround to get GTA: Episodes from Liberty City to work. Creating a local profile may help bypass the login system.