Licensed music can be a fantastic tool for bringing game worlds to life. There's just one drawback to it: Licenses have a tendency to expire. And when they do, that great music goes away. Grand Theft Auto 4 will soon suffer those wounds of loss as well, as Rockstar has confirmed a Kotaku UK report that some of the radio station music we know and love will soon be removed from the game.
"Due to music licensing restrictions, we are required to remove certain songs from the in-game soundtrack of Grand Theft Auto IV and its Episodes, in particular a large portion of the Russian pop station, Vladivostok FM," a Rockstar rep said. "However we are replacing some of those songs with a new set of songs on that station. We will update our customer support website with new information as soon as it is available."
The looming loss is unfortunate but not entirely surprising. GTA4's tenth anniversary will arrive on April 29, and the same thing happened to San Andreas on its tenth anniversary in 2014, and to Vice City, which turned ten in 2012. Rockstar didn't say when the music will be removed, but the rumor reported by Kotaku says it will be gone on April 26.
You can read about some of our favorite bits of licensed music (including a track from GTA4) and listen to a pile of GTA radio stations, including the very danceable Vladivostok FM, on Spotify and iTunes.