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Grand Theft Auto IVAfter months of rumors and clamoring from PC gamers, Rockstar Games Game reviews has finally made it official: their best-selling console title Grand Theft Auto IV is headed to the PC on November 18th in North America and November 21st in Europe.

In the press statement Founder of Rockstar Games Sam Houser was quoted as saying, "We are very excited to be releasing the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV. The whole team is dedicated to bringing an amazing gaming experience to the PC. The game looks and plays beautifully on PC and we can't wait for people to play it."

This should come as no surprise really, considering all the other GTA titles - except for the hand-held versions Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories - eventually made their way to the PC platform. But in the media blitz surrounding the initial release of Grand Theft Auto IV in April on the Xbox 360 Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, Rockstar Games was decidedly tight-lipped about even the possibility of a PC version.

Very few details are available about the PC version of GTA IV, but the press release did contain an interesting snippet in the paragraph on the game's features saying "...and newly expanded multiplayer just for the PC." We asked Rockstar if they could elaborate on that at all and they said that information wasn't available at this time. GTA IV already sports 15 multiplayer modes and when they talk about "newly expanded multiplayer" it's possible that means more modes or more players per mode.

Questions regarding other common PC platform considerations like digital distribution, copy protection, system requirements, mod tools, map editors, DX 10 support and integration with Games for Windows - Live were all deftly deflected by representatives from Rockstar public relations. However, the issue regarding copy protection has to be first and foremost in the mind of Take Two, publisher of Grand Theft Auto IV. Game piracy is one of the major concerns for any company looking to publish games on the PC.

When EA released BioWare's console favorite RPG Mass Effect for the PC, there was a storm of controversy surrounding their decision to include Sony's SecureROM as a copy protection measure. Discussion became so heated that EA actually backed down a bit from their initial plan to combat the possible piracy of the title. The PC version of BioShock published by 2K Games also saw a fair amount of backlash regarding anti-piracy measures. Take Two Interactive may decide to brave another path for the PC release of Grand Theft Auto IV, but EA has been lobbying hard to acquire Take Two - even going so far as courting the option of a hostile take-over.

However, it's all up in the air for the time being. All we know for sure is this: Grand Theft Auto IV is coming to the PC in November with some expanded multiplayer element. Stay tuned for more details.

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