Report: GTA 4’s Soundtrack Is About To Get A Lot Smaller

Report: GTA 4’s Soundtrack Is About To Get A Lot Smaller

Our cousins in the United Kingdom have some unfortunate news to report: come the end of the month, GTA 4‘s soundtrack is about to get a lot thinner.

Rich from Kotaku UK has reported that some of the licensing agreements for music in GTA 4 will expire on April 26. They noted that similar expirations hit GTA: San Andreas and GTA: Vice City, with the latter’s PC port disappearing temporarily due to a licensing dispute.

You can read the story in full here. Kotaku UK is also awaiting comment from Rockstar on the matter, although the company has been notoriously secretive in the past.


  • This actually sucks that they can do this. Imho there should be some sort of clause that once a song is in a game, it’s in there *for good*.

    • Yeah. I can kind of understand if they took it out of new sales. But actually taking it out of the game from people who already bought it is a bit shit.

      I guess if you have the physical media you could just reinstall from that and not install the updates that would then strip the music out?

      It does seem different to other such situations, though. Eg that OutRun game that got removed from sale after the Ferrari licence expired, but the game (including the Ferraris) was still available to those who had already bought it prior to the licence expiring.

    • That would just make artists or more so record companies ask for more money for that music to be in the game. If i was a musician I wouldn’t want a company making money off my music forever without me getting anything in return.

      • So now the question becomes, because movies are going digital, will we see the wider scale removal of music when licensing is up as well? We’ve seen it already with Tour of Duty and The Wonder Years dvd box sets, I wonder if they’ll start doing it with actual films?

        Artists don’t usually get ‘nothing’, they’ll end up with royalties due to their works being in the game btw.

        • I’ll admit my knowledge in this area is lacking, I wonder how much the actual artist gets in the end via these deals. Have a sneaking suspicion it’s the label that’s making the majority of the money.

          But in terms of digital distribution for movies, seems to make sense that we’ll see the same thing. Difficult to do with physical media outside of simply stopping production of it.

          • Oh it’d be a pittance by now. Initially it’s a decent amount (the scale of the games selling etc) and as the sales wind down, the percentage they get I believe diminishes. But you’re right, but the time it reaches them, I’m betting it’d be cents on the dollar, if that.

          • Cents on the dollar is still a fair bit of money when you consider how much money GTA games rake in.

      • But they’re not making money off it forever. I seriously doubt GTA4 is still selling in significant numbers now, 10 years later.

        In any case, the money has already been made from the people who bought the game, I really don’t think it’s fair to rip the music out of a game they’ve bought and paid for.

        It’s gonna be a sad day when Red Dead Redemption’s licence for that Jose Gonzalez song expires.

    • No.

      No artists would agree to such a clause. Rockstar bought a license to use the song for a period of time. Not complete ownership of it.

        • It’s also identical to oh, I don’t know, every other form of physical music distribution. I have well over a thousand CDs and even more pieces of vinyl. Some of them were bought in the 1980s. When I play those 30 year old disks I expect to hear the songs on them, despite the fact that I paid for them 30 years ago and haven’t had to since!

          Part of the price I paid for GTA IV was given to the music publishers. It’s a shitty deal that allows those items to be removed at any time in the future.

  • This is another reason why DRM being cracked is a very good thing. It lets you install a version of the software you want rather than hoping the publisher allows you to install an older version through steam.

  • Music licensing is highway robbery. UMG quoted me $12k to use about 20 seconds from a cover of Mad World on an IG post – for one year only. I would not have been making any $$ from said post either.

    The media guy for the artist who did the cover ended up just posting my thing himself to bypass that.

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