Unable To Launch Grand Theft Auto IV (GTA4)?

Grand Theft Auto IV

It has been quite some time since I last played Grand Theft Auto IV, and my interest in it was re-sparked recently by a similar game – Sleeping Dogs.

However, for some strange reason, it refused to start. The Social Club login screen would come up, and then…. nothing. No error messages, no beeps. It just seemed like it’s not even launching at all.

Using trusty Google, I tried to find a solution. However, all the links that came up are old links, and some of them contain, shall we say, questionable solutions to bypass Social Club checks for authenticity. However, NONE of the solutions addressed my problem – that the game did not launch and died quietly without giving any error messages.

Thinking I may have a corrupted install, I uninstalled and deleted everything (oh no, there goes all my mods!), rebooted, and restarted Steam to re-download and re-install. Luckily the savegames are located in a different place and hence all my saves aren’t lost.

1 hour later, Steam had finished downloading GTA 4 and the Episodes From Liberty City DLCs. Yes I have a fast internet connection and Steam was downloading it at full speed.

So, I tried to start GTA4 again.

Guess what? SAME PROBLEM!

So obviously it wasn’t a corrupted install. There must be something changed in my PC that GTA4 relied on, but is currently either missing or in a different place (if it still exists).

I thought about it for a while, until I remembered the launch sequence the last time I played GTA4 … Social Club then Games For Windows Live. I know that Microsoft had changed their “Games For Windows Live” client pretty recently, and it’s now named “Games For Windows Marketplace“. I think I even remembered that it was Batman Arkham City that installed this.

So, as a desperate measure, I started Games For Windows Marketplace  manually, logged in, and minimized it. Then I tried launching GTA4.


So, moral of the story – GTA4 needed Games For Windows Live, but somehow it’s not loading up during the game startup. Now, remembering to manually run Games For Windows Marketplace everytime I wanted to play a game is going to be very tedious, so I just went to www.xboxlive.com and downloaded the Games For Windows Marketplace client to reinstall again. The reinstall went super-quick – I wasn’t even sure whether anything was installed. I tried to launch GTA4 again as usual (without GFWM running) and viola~! It works now!

Well, guess I’ll have to start re-installing all my mods again 🙁


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