Rockstar Games recently updated the Steam page for Grand Theft Auto IV to announce that the game, which was pulled from the platform in January, will return on March 19 as Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition. But there are some caveats.
GTA IV: Complete Edition won't support Games for Windows Live, online multiplayer or leaderboards. That makes sense--Rockstar Games blamed GTA IV's removal from Steam on Games for Windows Live in a statement to USGamer in January:
"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."
Now it seems the company has found a solution that will allow it to continue selling GTA IV without online multiplayer. Upgrading the game to the Complete Edition, which features the Episodes From Liberty City expansion, can help make up for that change.
Rockstar Games explained how the upgrade process will work in the Steam update. It seems relatively painless considering the company had to figure out how to help people who bought the game via Steam, retail outlets and Games for Windows Live.
Of course, the company also took the opportunity to mention that GTA IV: Complete Edition will be available via the Rockstar Games Launcher, too. The game's presence on that platform as well as Steam ought to make it easy to procure come March 19.
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Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.
Rockstar Games blamed GTA IV's removal from Steam on Games for Windows Live
This is just a lazy excuse. Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City were both originally GFWL games but when Microsoft announced it was shutting the doors on it they re-worked the game to run on Steam directly.
Rockstar is just being lazy. However GTA IV is a very old game and doesn't have the player base to really expect them to put much effort into it.