News: GTAIV: San Andreas Beta 3 is out now

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While we're still waiting for Rockstar to fix the San Andreas update blunders, a private testing branch (update) has been added to Grand Theft Auto IV and Episodes from Liberty City on Steam. Admittedly, we're a bit late to the party as the branches were created on July 31st with no update to them since then. While nothing official has been announced by Rockstar, our money is on one of two things - either song removals or removal of Games for Windows Live.

We've made numerous posts about the impending shutdown of Games for Windows Live. Back in 2013, Microsoft mistakenly announced that they were planning to discontinue the service July of last year - an announcement that was retracted but then later reconfirmed by a developer. We attempted to reach out to Rockstar a few times regarding the shutdown but had received no response. Even Rockstar's own sister company 2K released updates for their legacy titles to remove G4W. July came and went and it seemed Microsoft had given the service a temporary reprieve as a number of popular titles still hadn't been updated. With Windows 10 now out and Microsoft moving their online PC services to the Xbox modern app, it stands to reason Microsoft would want to deprecate the old Games for Windows Live service as soon as possible.

With three more years to go before we hit the 10 year anniversary (the length of time Rockstar seems to license songs for), it doesn't seem likely the update would be to remove songs. Hopefully we'll have good news soon.

EDIT: Just a few hours after this post, both titles received another update to their beta branch.

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In August, we reported that the future of Games for Windows Live, the service powering Grand Theft Auto IV and the Episodes from Liberty City on PC, was in question. Microsoft had published a statement on a support page stating that the service was due for shutdown on July 1, 2014. That statement was later removed and Microsoft hasn't said anything on the issue since. In that article we noted that it was looking like a number of developers were prepping to re-release older games without the service.

Rocksteady Studios, developer of Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, released an update this week for both titles on Steam. The update removes Games for Windows Live and uses Steamworks in its place. Erik Miller, developer at the studio, released a statement telling players that they can now claim their Games for Windows Live copies on Steam. The statement also gave reasoning behind the update:

Dear Batman Arkham Fans - Microsoft has begun the process of closing down Windows Live services over the next year. To make sure there is no interrupted service, we will be moving the game to Steam for verification and update services for both the Base and GOTY versions of Batman Arkham Asylum and Batman Arkham City.

With the cat out of the bag, it makes us wonder why Microsoft is still so keen on keeping the shutdown hush-hush. The million dollar question on our minds is will Rockstar update GTAIV so multiplayer and achievements can still be enjoyed after the Live shutdown. We haven't seen any indication of activity on GTAIV in the Steam database yet. When we published our last article on the situation, we sent an email to Rockstar asking for a comment. Months later, we still haven't seen a reply on the issue.

We'll let you know if we hear anything, don't hold your breath though.

Source: Steam Community

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A new update to Grand Theft Auto V has been released. This update, which is version 1.03, once again brings a number of fixes for issues with Grand Theft Auto Online.

  • Fixes multiple issues causing character deletion or other loss of progress
  • Fixes issues causing infinite loading, infinite sky cams, and missing interface options between jobs
  • Fixes an issue causing the "replay" option to be locked out on certain jobs
  • Fixes an issue where a player would become stuck in the mod garage when respraying a Sanchez motor bike
  • Fixes an issue where the Player became stuck inside Los Santos Customs during Online tutorial flow. 
  • Fixes an issue causing the loss of guns and ammo
  • Fixes issues causing GTA races ending early because of players spawning too far ahead
  • Fixes issues in Last Team Standing where sessions would not progress past the lobby
  • Fixes issues with network errors when joining Last Team Standing using Quick Job
  • Added clarifications around when a player is using a temporary character in GTA Online during Rockstar Cloud server outages
  • Adjusts the monetary penalty for being killed in a One on One match

The update is out now on PlayStation 3. Those of you on Xbox 360 will have to wait a bit longer as Microsoft has seemingly once again held up the certification process.

While the update fixes a number of issues related to character loss, those of you that have already lost your character will have to wait while Rockstar continues to research the possibility of restoring lost characters.

EDIT: The update is now out on both platforms.

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Surprise! Last week we reported on Microsoft's abandonment of Games for Windows Marketplace and how discontinuation of the Live service was likely just around the corner. Today our prediction is coming true. In now removed support page for Age of Empires Online, Microsoft mentions that Games for Windows Live will be discontinued on July 1st, 2014. Full text below:

Games for Windows Live will be discontinued on July 1, 2014. Although it is available through Steam, Age of Empires Online requires features of the Games for Windows Live service. You can continue to enjoy all the features of Age of Empires Online as the service will remain 100% operational until July 1, 2014 when the server will shut down.

It's very likely that even purchases from the Games for Windows Marketplace will be unaccessable after this date. The biggest question we have now is if Rockstar will be removing G4WL from Grand Theft Auto IV and Episodes from Liberty City in favor of Steam or Social Club. As we reported last week, a number of developers have already begun working to removing G4WL from their games such as Rockstar's sister label 2K Games. While Rockstar hasn't announced any plans yet nor have we come across any indication that they will be, we believe it would be in their best interest to do so in order to appease fans and ensure continued catalog sales. Catalog sales have historically been Take-Two's bread and butter for continued revenue and it's likely the reason why 2K is even bothering to update Bioshock 2.

For a list of games that will no longer function correctly after the date, including Grand Theft Auto IV and Episodes from Liberty City, please see this helpful Wikipedia article listing Games for Windows Live games.

We have contacted Rockstar for comment. We'll let you know if they respond.

Source: Shack News

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Heads up everyone - Microsoft has announced that on August 22nd, they will be shutting down Games for Windows Marketplace. This means that after that date, you will no longer be able to purchase games and DLC for games that require Games for Windows Live, such as the individual episode packs for Grand Theft Auto IV. Purchases you've already made will still be accessible after the marketplace shutdown date, however Microsoft stops short of stating how long that access will last.

This act is yet another nail in the coffin for Games for Windows Live, which has been the victim of severe neglect at the hands of Microsoft's Xbox division ever since it launched in 2007. When it originally launched, Microsoft pushed it as a premium-paid online service that would allow for gameplay with Xbox 360 users. Microsoft quickly learned that PC users didn't want to pay for something they already had before and dropped the paid requirement while only a couple of games used the cross play feature (which was broken a few years back by a 360 update - it was never fixed). Back in 2008 when it was announced Grand Theft Auto IV was coming to the platform, gamers had mixed reactions. A number of members in the GTAIV modding community even developed a tool that is compatible with a number of titles to remove G4WL. Fast forward to today, developers are dropping support for the platform. Recent PC titles from Rockstar such as L.A. Noire and Max Payne 3 do not use G4WL, in favor of using Social Club to power online play. Even Microsoft has stopped releasing their own games on the service, favoring Steam and Steamworks to power non-metro Windows games.

So what does this all mean for Grand Theft Auto IV and Episodes from Liberty City players? As we've stated, while Microsoft plans to let G4WL continue for the time being, it is definitely running on borrowed time. Eventually, likely sooner than later, Microsoft will start taking steps to shut the service down for good. Once it goes down, you'll no longer be able to play Grand Theft Auto IV multiplayer on PC. There is a community-brewed solution for online play called IV-MP, however it is far from stable. 2K Games, Rockstar's sister label, looks to be currently in the process of re-releasing Bioshock 2 using Steamworks instead of G4WL. Could Rockstar be doing something similar for Grand Theft Auto IV and Episodes from Liberty City? We can only hope. In the mean time, enjoy the online play while you still can -- and make sure you have backups of all your games plus DLC!

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25 Sep 2012 - OpenIV 1.2 released

GooD-NTS has released OpenIV 1.2, an update for this extremely popular all-in-one mod tool for Grand Theft Auto IV and Max Payne 3 on PC. This new version brings about two big developments which modders will love.

The first development is the ability to edit the RPF files for Max Payne 3. Previous versions of OpenIV only allowed for the viewing and extracting of these files. While this doesn't mean full on modding for Max Payne 3 yet as the formats still need to be researched, it is one less hurdle that is in the way.

The other big development OpenIV 1.2 brings is support for Grand Theft Auto IV's PED paths or Nav meshes. This means that total conversions such as Grand Theft Auto IV: San Andreas and the excellent upcoming Our Ugly World can now finally implement pedestrians roaming the city on foot as opposed to being stuck in their vehicles.

To download OpenIV 1.2 or to view the full changelog, simply head on over to the official website.

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Beat, a well known video editor from our sister site GTAStunting, recently released a brand new short film created in Grand Theft Auto IV. The short, titled "The Aventador Redemption", is the spiritual sequel to "The Lamborghini Reventon" which was another GTAIV short video he released last year to much fanfare.

"I tried to mix different genres of music, different moods and different styles to give a huge variety to the action and make it appealing for every type of audience. Also this is the first video where I actually attempted following proper cinematography rules making it look like a movie as much as possible, I also spent more than 8 hours designing the sound, making sure it hits the proper feel."

To watch, just hit play in the YouTube player above or head on over to the release topic for download options!

"The Aventador Redemption" has recently been featured by Rockstar on their newswire blog, congrats Beat!

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Ever wanted to play Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas with the combined power of the engine used in Grand Theft Auto IV? The GTA IV: San Andreas mod team has been working on just that since late 2010. Today marks the release of the third beta, which is "World Enhancement". World Enhancement includes a number of fan requested fixes and improvements such as:

• Multiplayer
 Gang wars

• Improved Setup
• Improved Launcher   
 Improved overall graphics
 Remade timecyc
 Far distance for trees and lights
 Las Venturas updates
 Props fixes
 Breakable objects
 More vehicles
 More weapons
 More peds
 More sounds
 More collision materials
 More shaders
• Bug fixes
• ...AND MORE!

We highly recommend you check it out! To download the mod, simply head on over to the official website!

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