Earlier this week, Grand Theft Auto 4 entered the spotlight when it was removed from sale on Steam. Despite the game’s listing being visible on the platform, a purchase button was nowhere to be found. The incident left the gaming community wondering the exact reason for its removal. Now, developer Rockstar has released a statement clearing up the air.
Games for Windows Live
According to The Verge, the reason why GTA 4 is no longer available to purchase on Steam is because of Games for Windows Live, Microsoft’s defunct online gaming service.
“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,” says a Rockstar representative.
Games For Windows Live was prominently used in many older games including GTA 4, Resident Evil 5, and more. However, since official support for the service was ended in 2014, it began causing problems for all the games it was affiliated with. Since then, the community has devised numerous workarounds to the notorious gaming service.
As for GTA 4, it appears that, unlike other developers, Rockstar didn’t get rid of Games for Windows Live. The official procedure to use the service requires a unique game key. As Games for Windows Live is still integrated with GTA 4, Rockstar is unable to continue selling the game.
However, that doesn’t mean that GTA 4 is gone forever; If you already own it on Steam, then you don’t need to worry. The game is yours to keep forever.
Rockstar notes that they are “looking at other options for distributing GTA4 for PC and will share more information as soon as we can.”
It’s unclear if Rockstar is planning to bring the game back to Steam, or release it on their own launcher.