Grand Theft Auto 4 will return to Steam on March 19 after it was pulled from sale in January. The 2008 title was pulled due to technical issues with the PC version of the game tied to use of Microsoft’s Games for Windows Live platform.
On March 19, Rockstar Games will replace Grand Theft Auto 4 and Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City with the Grand Theft Auto 4: Complete Edition “wherever it is currently digitally available,” including Steam and the Rockstar Games. Players’ save files will remain compatible with Grand Theft Auto 4: Complete Edition. The problem? Multiple features will be removed: Games for Windows Live, multiplayer functionality, and GTA 4 leaderboards. Some radio stations in-game — including Vice City FM and RamJam FM — will be temporarily unavailable, Rockstar said.
Grand Theft Auto 4 was released in 2008 for Windows PC through the Games for Windows Live platform, PlayStation 3, and Xbox One. Microsoft no longer supports the platform; services were disconnected in 2014. Rockstar said it’s “no longer possible to generate the additional keys needed to continue selling the current version of the game.” Moving to Grand Theft Auto 4: Complete Edition seemingly fixes that problem, though with some compromises.
People who have purchased Grand Theft Auto 4 or Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City previously will be able to update their games wherever needed. Here are the instructions, straight from Rockstar:
Players who have previously installed and played Grand Theft Auto IV or Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City will be able to update their copy to Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition through the following means:
Depending on the game, players on Steam will need to install or update their current game:
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City will be removed and replaced with GTAIV: Complete Edition in the launcher library. Update file size is expected to be approximately 22GB
Grand Theft Auto IV owners will download content from Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City and their game will update to GTAIV: Complete Edition. Update file size is expected to be approximately 6GB
Games not previously activated using Games for Windows Live will be able to use the Key on the back of the game manual to activate and update to Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition
Games for Windows Live Digital Store Purchases
Games previously activated using Games for Windows Live will require players to create and/or link their Social Club accounts in replacement of Games for Windows Live to update to Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition