Grand Theft Auto IV is returning to Steam on March 19th, a little over two months after its use of the defunct Games for Windows Live platform forced Rockstar to pull it from sale. Rockstar made the announcement on the game’s Steam page where it said that the game will be undergoing a few changes for its return, including the loss of its multiplayer mode.
The big change is that Rockstar is replacing both Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, with Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition. If you own either title, then your copy will either update to or be replaced with the complete edition next month. Rockstar says that current save files will be compatible with the new game and adds that it will also be available for purchase on the Rockstar Games Launcher.
Unfortunately, some functionality is disappearing as part of the update. Rockstar says that the game’s multiplayer mode and leaderboards will no longer be available, and a selection of radio stations is also disappearing temporarily. These include RamJam FM, Self-Actualization FM, and Vice City FM (a station from Episodes from Liberty City). This isn’t the first time we’ve seen audio disappear from the game over the years, but at least this time Rockstar is saying it’s a temporary change.
Rockstar isn’t the only company that has had to remove GFWL integration from its games after Microsoft moved on from the platform, but most other companies got it out of the way half a decade ago. Here’s hoping the update to this 12-year-old game is the last we hear of Microsoft’s ill-fated initiative.