On December 2, Rockstar Games released the much anticipated PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV to both retail and digital distribution outlets. Since then, there have been numerous reports of poor performance on current systems and even some cases of textures failing to load.
Forum users at Steam have reported that users of systems which meet or exceed the recommended requirements are treated to results that are lower in quality than the PS3 or Xbox 360 versions. Most of these complaints have been isolated to forum posts and online discussions; however, IGN was able to interview Rockstar Games for an official response to these technical issues.
According to Rockstar, digitally distributed versions of the game purchased through Valve’s Steam service were not downloading properly to user’s systems. Refunds are being issued as per instructions on Voodoo Extreme’s website; however, it’s noted that this is on an exception basis and is not normal practice.
Rockstar’s own support website has been updated to reflect the latest drivers available for download for users of both Nvidia and ATI graphics cards and is encouraging users to update for the best performance. Rockstar maintains that these technical issues are due to “out of date drivers or we don’t support that type of card or you’re under-specced or whatever, it’s always a combination of one of those things.”
Rockstar Games insists that the problems experienced by users are extremely low; in the 1 percent region for complaints received through their customer support line. The developers have gone on record to state that the game has been designed to be “future-proof” and that current hardware will run the game; however, as hardware improves, so will the game’s performance.
In the mean time, Rockstar is urging players to update their drivers, update their Games for Windows Live software, and to update their operating system patches. Nvidia drivers for their current cards are already available but ATI drivers will be delayed until December 10. Grand Theft Auto IV was released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 on April 29, 2008 and sold over 3.6 million units on its first day for release.