If you’ve been thinking about picking up a copy of Grand Theft Auto IV on PC, it looks like you’ll have to wait. The game has disappeared from digital storefronts including Steam and Rockstar’s own shop, with no indication of when it may be coming back. The good news is that Rockstar seemingly is planning to bring the game back at some point in the future, provided it can fix the issue that prompted the game’s removal in the first place.
If you look at Steam at the moment, you’ll see that Grand Theft Auto IV is still listed on the store, though that listing exists without the green “Add to Cart” button we’re all used to seeing. Just as well, a search for Grand Theft Auto IV over on the Rockstar Warehouse pulls up a bunch of results for merchandise related to the game, but no listing for the game itself.
So, what’s going on? The Steam listing doesn’t say why GTA IV has been removed from sale, but a statement Rockstar sent to Polygon clears up the issue. Rockstar says that Grand Theft Auto IV was created for Games for Windows Live, a service that Microsoft no longer supports. With Games for Windows Live dead, Rockstar can no longer generate new keys for the game, which means that at the moment, it can’t sell it digitally on PC.
Rockstar says that it’s currently “looking at other options for distributing GTA IV on PC,” but doesn’t give us a timeline for when it might return. We’re guessing that it will return at some point, though, once Rockstar can figure out a new distribution method.
Since this issue revolves around Rockstar’s ability to generate keys for the game, those who already own a copy will most likely be able to keep playing it. While we’d assume most people who want to play Grand Theft Auto IV have already done so by now, we’ll keep an eye out for the game’s return to PC game platforms and update you when we hear more.