GTA 4 Returns To Steam--With A Big Feature Missing

You can't go bowling with your friends anymore.


When Grand Theft Auto 4 first came out in 2008, its multiplayer was a game-changer, allowing players to hang out together in the game's immaculate Liberty City together for the first time in franchise history. Well, if you were hoping to relive those glory days on the PC, we've got some bad news: the multiplayer portion of the game has been permanently disabled due to lingering issues with the now-defunct Games for Windows Live platform.

While this is a massive loss, considering how important those multiplayer modes were to the game's success, it's still an improvement on the current situation. Since January, GTA 4 has been unavailable for purchase on Steam due to the fact that Rockstar has run out of keys for the Games for Windows Live. Since the service is now dead, Microsoft has declined to provide any more, which has led to this situation. The single-player portion of the game will be playable starting March 19.

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Now Playing: GTA 4 Backwards Compatibility Livestream

If you're unlucky enough to have bought a physical edition of GTA 4, you'll have to either use your physical key to update to the new Complete Edition, or connect your Rockstar Social Club account in place of Games for Windows Live. It's a throwback to the days of "CD keys," but, hey, that's what happens when you want to play a retro game like GTA 4. Feel old yet?

The last few months have been rather eventful for Rockstar, especially with the high-profile exit of Dan Houser, the writer and creative force behind many of their most acclaimed games, such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and GTA V. In the meantime, however, the studio has been still been making quite a bit of money, with publisher Take-Two recently announcing that microtransaction spending in GTA Online grew by 54 percent in the first quarter of this year.

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