It looks like a certain number of songs will be removed from Grand Theft Auto 4 on April 26th, courtesy of a licencing agreement that’s about to expire. There’s no word on which songs in particular you won’t be able to hear in cars across Liberty City any more, but the source behind the info claims there’s going to be “a lot” of them.
The news comes via Kotaku, who also claim that Playstation 3 players will get a notification prompting them to download the songs in question before their removal. Since the removal is probably going to happen via a patch, you can probably download the game before then and not let it update afterwards.
This isn’t the first time players are getting shafted by a dispute between Rockstar and music publishers. San Andreas owners were victims of the same kind of stupidity a while back, when a bunch of songs were removed from all versions of the game without any prior notice. Before that, Vice City was in the same position, but Rockstar handled it much more elegantly – everyone who owned it before the licencing kerfuffle got to keep the game in the same state they bought it in. All copies of the game sold from that point on did not include the songs in question to begin with.
There’s reason to feel cheated by this whole thing. The music is an integral part of the experience, and if you bought the game way back when, you bought it along with all the art that comes bundled with it. If you feel like this is acceptable, try to imagine how you would feel if they suddenly ripped the player character’s model from the game and replaced it with an elephant.