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

You can't go bowling with your friends anymore.

27 Comments

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.

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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Devil_wings00

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Edited By Devil_wings00

Yeah, the MP was NOT the reason for the success of the game lol GTA being one of the biggest franchises in the world probably had a little more to do with it. I literally forgot GTA 4 even had MP it was such a minor tacked on inclusion. The game just came out in that era where every game publisher felt the need to have some half baked MP mode.

It wasn't until GTA V that the MP mattered. Even then the game made a bagillion dollars well before the online mode went live. So GTA has never needed MP to be successful.

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dlM0kn

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ah the good ol' days of gta4 mp. So much fun had in deathmatch and freemode that I'll always remember it. R.I.P. mode.

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SkyHighGam3r

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Edited By SkyHighGam3r

Who gives a shit about the dinky multiplayer? Has the digital cancer that is Games for Windows Live been completely stripped out of the actual game or not?

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Spider_Matt1987

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I play GTA for the story, characters and the world. Couldn’t care less about multiplayer

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Voice_of_Wisdom

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Edited By Voice_of_Wisdom

who's playing this garbage anyway?

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GunnyNinja

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@Voice_of_Wisdom: Do you think that calling it garbage is going to change how anyone but you feels about this game? Or how popular it is? I actually already have it on both steam and Rockstar. It was so good I bought it twice...

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rdtg

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@gunnyninja:I love GTA IV as well, but... How could you own it on the Rockstar Launcher? It hasn't been put up there yet. Or do you mean just the DVD version?

@Voice_of_Wisdom I think you are in the minority here. GTA IV is far from "garbage". It has an amazing story and it's still a great game. However, the PC port of the game IS garbage. Rockstar never should've released GTA IV on PC in the state it was and currently still is in. The game itself is amazing, the PC port is shit.

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GunnyNinja

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@rdtg: I didn't say I bought it on the launcher. You could buy games directly from Rockstar before the launcher was released, but those games are added to the launcher automatically. You had a Rockstar Social Club account.

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Shebuka

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I loved GTA IV, Nico Belic and DLCs but never played multiplayer... so not a big loss.

Also, do we realize that it's a 12 years old game? MOST games out there are dismissing / shutting down online servers well before they hit a decade-old mark.

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JSprunk

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GTA 4 will forever be a console game in my book.

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rdtg

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@jsprunk Yeah, it's a shame but I agree. I love GTA IV, but the PC port is so bad it's nearly unplayable on modern hardware. No matter if I try it on my desktop or laptop, I get around 45 ~ 60 fps with constant drops to sub 20 fps, and constant crashes. R* needs to fix that first. And if they don't intend to fix the horrid port issues, they never should re-release it on Steam. GFWL is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to issues with this port, and stripping that out is only going to ensure customers can still *buy* the game. *Playing* the game is a whole other story.

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Keivz_basic

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Multiplayer was one of my favorite and most beloved aspects of GTA 4. Hadn’t played it in awhile since it was such a time sink. Sad to see it go. Managed a few games yesterday and it was just as fun as I remembered. Not sure when exactly they are officially pulling the plug but I’ll log on whenever I can until then.

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Crazy_sahara

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Edited By Crazy_sahara

The multiplayer overrated anyways, it's not as if you could enter shops buildings ect.

Shame on rockstar not focusing on the pc version fine tuning it onto Ubisofts E3 watch dogs style attempt (that failed anus) sadly it's just a empty ghost city with nothing much to do.

Single player however is a entirely different story.

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uninspiredcup

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GFWL has been broken for years and they didn't care.

That, big, billion-dollar company. Too much work.

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dynamotnt

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@uninspiredcup: the best way to deal with GFWL is a crack.

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mcnichoj

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@uninspiredcup: While I've seen numerous people complain about the service, I myself have never had much of a problem with it and I'm no computer wiz. It's amazing the servers are still alive considering they probably stopped seeing returns on it forever ago.

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Pupchu

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This was my least favourite in the series.

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cboye18

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You don't play Grand Theft Auto for multiplayer anyways, so no loss there.

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Mogan

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Edited By Mogan  Moderator

@cboye18: GTA 4, sure. But 5's multiplayer has made it one of the most successful games of all time (if not THE most successful).

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cboye18

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@mogan: I have to admit that, despite me not liking the influence it had on the franchise.

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Mogan

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Mogan  Moderator

@cboye18: With how nuts successful GTA online has been, and with the more narratively inclined Houser leaving, I kind of wonder if Rockstar even makes a GTA6 with a traditional single player campaign.

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BarcaAzul

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What am absolute mess, I can't understand how they got here.

Not sure anyone cares about the online though

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mcnichoj

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"considering how important those multiplayer modes were to the game's success"

That's highly debatable. Hardly anyone I don't know a single person that seriously played GTA4 multiplayer. It's nothing like 5's which is massive and has tons of content that actually warrants people to dedicate serious time for it.

"Since the service is now dead"

Not dead, just signed on fine yesterday. Just no longer supported in any major capacity. Servers and the service are still live.

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ThrillKillFan

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Edited By ThrillKillFan

@mcnichoj:

Some of us STILL play GTA IV's online for the go anywhere, do anything free mode where you can shut OFF friendly fire versus the always on friendly fire nonsense that is GTA O (and RDR Online) where your only options are to 'parlay' or turn on passive mode, which makes it so you're unable to defend yourself against armed NPC's even.

Honestly the whole grind-a-thon that is GTA Online is just atrocious to me. Couple that with the fact that anything that's unconventionally fun (launching vehicles, going under the map to look for hidden interiors and stuff) gets patched as do any ways to make money other than slow as heck.

Anyway outside of servers for "levels" (which didn't really matter anyway), GTA IV's online was peer to peer, meaning you were directly connecting to other players. Last time I played IV's online on PS3 my guy's level was 0 when I was previously a 7 or 8 or whatever. The ONLY drawback to the online now is modders have taken over (even on PS3) and either they do things to annoy you or they build stuff like mega jump ramps that take up all the games resources and make it run like molasses. But sticking to private sessions with only friends is still a fun time if you enjoy just roaming around goofing off.

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dynamotnt

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@ThrillKillFan: i played thrill kill allot too.

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BabeNewelll

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Big lol , noone cares about GTA 4 online in 2020.

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