Just as one Rockstar game entered Steam, another has mysteriously left the platform. Grand Theft Auto IV is no longer purchasable on the platform, with the official store page now simply lacking the option to buy or gift the game.
Rockstar Games hasn't given a reason as to why the game has been pulled. We have reached out to the company for a comment and will update this article if we get a response. This seems to be a PC specific problem also, as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game are still being sold on their respective stores.
The removal could be due to music licensing issues. Rockstar has previously been forced to replace in-game radio station music through an update. Though if it is another case of expired licenses, it's unclear why they weren’t just patched out like before, and why this situation is only affecting the PC version.
What's also interesting is that the Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City standalone story expansions are still available on Steam for purchase, though the Complete Edition - which has the base game and expansions - has also been given the removal treatment.
As is usually the case with these kinds of situations, those who already own the open-world action game on the Valve platform aren't affected by this, giving them free rein to continue Niko Bellic's adventures.
As an alternative, Grand Theft Auto IV for Steam is still purchasable from official third-party sellers like Humble Store and GamesPlanet. It should be noted that these stores may only have a limited supply of keys left before the stock runs out if Rockstar is serious about pulling the PC version.