Something weird is going on with Rockstar Games' Steam games — almost everything (including GTA 5) was briefly removed from sale — and some previously-delisted games such as Midnight Club 2 are back.
Rockstar Games is known around the world as the developer of the Grand Theft Auto franchise. That's probably why it did not go unnoticed when it pretty much removed every single one of its games off of Steam for a brief period earlier today — and that's just the beginning of the strangeness.
What's Happening with Rockstar Games Steam Games?
Here's what we've found so far: at around 1:20 PM EST, most (if not all) of the Rockstar Games Steam games were removed from the platform as shown on SteamDB. There was no announcement or anything, so some people might have been concerned that it was pulling out from the platform. That doesn't seem to be the case — many of the removed games were restored less than five minutes later.
It only gets stranger from there: not all of the removed games have returned, and some previously-delisted games have actually made their way back to the platform. Using Delisted Games as a reference, we've found that the following games are once again available for purchase on Steam at the time of writing.
- Max Payne (Delisted Games link)
- Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (only via the Max Payne bundle) (Delisted Games link)
- Midnight Club 2 (Delisted Games link)
- Update: Midnight Club 2 has been removed from sale again.
Not everything that has left has come back, though. It looks like you can no longer buy the Grand Theft Auto V Steam version. Compare it against how the Steam store page looked a few minutes ago and it looks like something might have gone wrong.
So what's happening here? An /r/Games discussion on the topic mentions that CS:GO was erroneously removed from Steam earlier this year, so this all could be some kind of error on Valve's part. However, the quick removal and return of these games suggest that it could be a deliberate process done by Rockstar Games — essentially, a bit of digital housekeeping to remove some games from listing and restore old ones.
We can't really say for certain what's going on either way. If this is indeed an error, this might be your last, best chance to buy previously-delisted games such as Max Payne and Midnight Club 2 on Steam. We've reached out to Rockstar Games and will update this article when we receive a reply.
Update (04/19/2021, 3:28 PM) – The addition and removal of Rockstar Games' Steam games is still ongoing at the time of this update; Midnight Club 2, for example, is once again unavailable for purchase. If you are wanting it, keep an eye out as it might relist at some point with this chaos. We'll continue to monitor the situation.
Update (04/20/2021, 4:24 PM) – It seems that things have settled down after yesterday's chaos. One of the more worrying issues was resolved: GTA 5 is available for purchase again on Steam.
That's not the end of things, though — a thread on ResetEra reports that Rockstar had a couple of surprises in store! All of the previously-released DLC for Max Payne 3 and L.A. Noire is now included with their respective games. The free DLC offer does not apply to the newer L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files. You can buy Max Payne 3 and L.A. Noire on Steam (with all of their DLC included) for $19.99 apiece.
What do you think is happening with the Rockstar Games Steam games? What previously-delisted games would you like to see return to the platform? Let us know in the comments below!