By Joseph Leray
In a statement on Steam’s Grand Theft Auto forums, Rockstar Games have confirmed that GTA: Vice City has been pulled from digital stores, including Steam, “due to some music licensing issues.”
The game’s disappearance was noted in late October, but copies of the game that have already been bought and downloaded will not be affected. “”We’ll make it available again as soon as possible,” the statement continues.
Rockstar reps also told Game Informer that Vice City’s upcoming iOS and Android debut, in conjunction with the seminal title’s 10th anniversary, will move forward as planned.
CinemaBlend is reporting that the song in question is Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Something,” which plays on Vice City’s Fever 105 radio station. Sony Music Entertainment and Warner/Chappel Music have allegedly blocked the content on copyright grounds.
It’s unclear why this brouhaha is flaring up now — Vice City was released in 2002, and it seems to me that the licenses should have been taken care of by now. Details are scarce, but I suppose the original license could have expired, or that the digital version of Vice City could be considered “streaming” audio, and is thus subject to different rules.