Update: Rockstar has confirmed that music will be removed from the game, but it plans to make up for that by introducing new songs in their place. A spokesperson told GameSpot, “Due to music licensing restrictions, we are required to remove certain songs from the in-game soundtrack of Grand Theft Auto IV and its Episodes, in particular a large portion of the Russian pop station, Vladivostok FM. However we are replacing some of those songs with a new set of songs on that station. We will update our customer support website with new information as soon as it is available.” The original story follows.
As incredible as it is, Grand Theft Auto IV is coming up on its tenth birthday later this month. And this means that some music licenses will expire and Rockstar will have to remove a bunch of tracks from the game’s soundtrack.
According to Kotaku, on April 26, a bunch of 10-year agreements will be up, and Rockstar will patch several songs out of the game. Kotaku reports that sources have said that “a lot” of music will be removed, but the developer has not given a list of specific tracks.
This happened with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as well; in 2014, the studio took 17 songs out of the game. But what makes GTA IV’s situation particularly notable is that there’s apparently a workaround for PS3 players. Kotaku reports that, prior to April 26, owners of the game on PS3 will receive system messages giving them the option of downloading digital versions of the tracks. As a result, they’ll be able to continue listening to the tracks in-game. It’s unclear why or how this is happening, or if a similar option will be given to PC and Xbox 360 players. We’ve reached out to Rockstar for comment and clarification.
Grand Theft Auto IV launched way back in 2004 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, and it achieved significant critical and commercial success. GameSpot, for instance, gave it a 10/10 in our original review. In addition, be sure to check out our feature on all of the biggest game anniversaries happening in 2018.