Rockstar addresses why Grand Theft Auto IV was removed from Steam

It sounds like it won't be permanent.

Last week, Twitter user Nittomata noticed that Grand Theft Auto IV had been removed for sale from Steam. Over the weekend, many wondered if it had just been removed to music licenses but it turns out there’s a larger issue.

Given Grand Theft Auto IV was released during the boom of Games for Windows Live and it’s no longer supported, it has caused issues for the popular open-world title.

“Grand Theft Auto 4 was originally created for the Games For Windows Live platform,” said Rockstar in a statement to USGamer. “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 GTA 4 for PC and will share more information as soon as we can.”

It’s unclear if Grand Theft Auto IV will return to Steam or if it’ll be sold on Rockstar’s own PC launcher. Players who own Grand Theft Auto IV on Steam already can still play and download the game but the button to purchase is non-existant. Grand Theft Auto IV: Episodes from Liberty City is still available for purchase, it features the game’s two standalone expansions but not the main game.

We’ll continue to keep you posted as we learn more.