Slightly disappointing! Rockstar and Microsoft have today announced that the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV will be running exclusively under the Games for Windows banner. So, yeah, if you want to play multiplayer, the fact Microsoft throw the word "exclusively" around suggests you'll have to use GFW Live's sub-par system. Granted, GTA IV's release will coincide with a range of updates for GFW Live, including a new interface and the yet-to-be-named marketplace, but you'll excuse us if we take a minute to stare at the "G" section of the Steam games list, think of what could have been and sigh, just a little.
REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 22, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. celebrates its second anniversary of the Games for Windows initiative this month with the news that the year's biggest blockbuster, "Grand Theft Auto IV" (Rockstar Games), will debut on the PC this November exclusively as a Games for Windows-branded title, joining a growing list of more than 85 top PC games from today's hottest publishers. Liberty City comes to life through a revitalized Games for Windows - LIVE experience, including expanded online matches, cutting-edge DirectX 10 graphics, and new LIVE features such as a redesigned game interface, out-of-game client and marketplace.
"We're incredibly proud of the deep, customizable multiplayer experience that Grand Theft Auto IV offers players, " said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. "As we work toward the release of the PC version, Games for Windows - LIVE affords us the opportunity to seamlessly translate the multiplayer console experience for PC gamers. The service is a natural fit for the platform and we strongly believe it will help in building a strong online community around GTA IV PC."
In addition to "Grand Theft Auto IV," some of the year's most-anticipated titles will take advantage of Games for Windows - LIVE, including "Fallout 3" (Bethesda Softworks LLC), "Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II" (THQ Inc.) and "James Bond: Quantum of Solace" (Activision Publishing Inc.).
Games for Windows - LIVE delivers a truly connected experience for PC gamers, letting users enjoy a common Gamertag, Gamerscore, and unified friends list that carries across both supported PC games and the Xbox 360 console, as well as single and multiplayer Achievements, voice chat, text messaging and TruSkill online matchmaking.
"Great Windows-based games like 'Grand Theft Auto IV,' 'Fallout 3' and 'Dawn of War II' are proof that Microsoft is delivering on its promise to provide the best possible PC gaming experience on Windows," said Kevin Unangst, senior global director of Windows gaming at Microsoft. "We are engaged with our community and listen attentively to their needs and concerns. With their input our platform has continued to evolve, and we're proud of the marked improvement the Games for Windows program has brought to PC gaming in its first two years."