One of the biggest issues plaguing the shelf-life of games in our digital age is licensing. Licensing can mess with games in all kinds of ways, from preventing sale, to preventing re-releases, or forcing developers to patch content out if they want their game to stick around. Of course, we also know that one of the big selling points of Grand Theft Auto games are their enormous and diverse soundtracks. Unfortunately, GTA IV is about to be hit with some license expirations that will indefinitely alter the game’s soundtrack later this month.
The licensing deals for GTA games seem to typically last around ten years, and sure enough, GTA IV was released on April 29, 2008. So on April 26, 2018, several songs are going to be removed. According to Kotaku, while the exact number of songs isn’t known, it’s not going to be pretty. But, for fans of the series still wanting to hold onto what they can, not all is lost just yet.
Kotaku is also reporting that sometime before the cutoff date, PlayStation 3 owners will receive a system message that will allow them to download the songs in question. This will let the game run the files from their hard drive, even after being patched out of the game itself. So far this only seems to apply to the PlayStation 3 version, although there hasn’t been official word either way.