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Grand Theft Auto 4’s music library getting pruned as licensing agreements expire

Decade-old game still has a dedicated fanbase

GTA 4 Rockstar Games
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Grand Theft Auto 4s music library is getting a trim as licensing agreements expire on the now decade-old game. So if you’re a player and you notice that an update coming at the end of the month wipes out some songs, this is what is going on.

Kotaku UK noticed the oncoming changes earlier in the week, then confirmed with Rockstar Games that licensing terms were the reason. The changes will most affect the Vladivostok FM station in the game. A large portion of that playlist has to go, and Rockstar said it will replace those songs with a new set.

This is not uncommon. Other long-running video games have had to pull out licensed songs when they outlived the terms of their agreements. If anything, it points to the remarkably long life of GTA 4, which launched 10 years ago on April 29 (probably the lifespan of the licensing agreement). Steam charts still shows it with a peak of 1,404 concurrent players — on the PC, of course — over the past 30 days.