Grand Theft Auto IV Is Coming Back To Steam In A New Form, After It’s Unceremonious Removal

Grand Theft Auto IV Is Coming Back To Steam In A New Form, After It’s Unceremonious Removal
Credit: Rockstar Games via YouTube

It was a sudden move with no explanation coming forth from Rockstar Games when Grand Theft Auto IV was suddenly pulled from the Steam store.  When this occurred, there was a brief article mentioning probable causes, from the defunct Games for Windows platform to more music being pulled due to licensing.  It turns out I was right on all of it, and the lack of parades hurt my feelings.

Grand Theft Auto IV will be coming back to Steam, Rockstar has announced, and it’s taking a new form in its return. The planned date for return is currently March 19th, 2020.

Titled Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition, the new form will be replacing both Grand Theft Auto IV and Episodes From Liberty City.  This means that owners of only one or the other will now receive all content for free with the update.

Games For Windows has been stripped from the title, removing many of the loopholes that were necessary to install and play.  Multiplayer is also being stripped from the title entirely, likely due to the Games for Windows integration that multiplayer worked off of.  Along with GfW and multiplayer being removed is everyone saying sayonara to in-game leaderboards.

Some are (of course) claiming that Rockstar is doing this in an attempt to force more players over to Grand Theft Auto 5, although it admittedly seems unlikely that the few left using GTA4’s peer-to-peer network via GfW are racing to pick up Grand Theft Auto V for the online aspect.

Finally, some music stations are unfortunately getting removed, although Rockstar’s announcement is a bit ambiguous in regards to wording.  Rockstar states that some radio stations are being ‘temporarily unavailable’ in Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition.  This implies that, as was the case in San Andreas, they’ll bring the stations back with new music and general audio, it simply doesn’t appear to be ready yet in time for the release.

All in all, the announcement is a pleasant surprise.  Many were suspecting that we might never see Grand Theft Auto IV reappearing on the Steam marketplace, what with Rockstar busy churning out content for Grand Theft Auto V Online along with Red Dead Redemption 2 Online, and a rumored Grand Theft Auto VI on the distant horizon.

The package overall is absolutely an upgrade for many users, although the community is naturally splitting into two camps as they readily discuss Rockstar and their diabolical schemes.