It seems that no one can get enough of the PC game launcher pie. First it was Fortnite developer Epic Games launching their own store to challenge Steam, and now Rockstar Games of Grand Theft Auto Renown is doing the same thing. Downloading that new PC games launcher will even let you get Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, for free.
Of course, with Steam and the Epic Games Store already in existence, the Rockstar Games Launcher will primarily be a place to purchase Rockstar content, and little else. That said it’ll have just about everything you could want in relation to the developer, including titles like L.A. Noire and Max Payne 3 and premium currency for games like Grand Theft Auto V. The new PC launcher will also include some nifty features to go along with it, including automatic game updates, cloud saves, and support for both disc and digital games even if they are bought from somewhere else. For a limited time, you’ll get GTA: San Andreas for free when you download the launcher, which is itself also free.
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The big question at hand is how this will affect Rockstar’s games on Steam, and their relationship with the Valve platform in general. Generally speaking, no online provider wants to put up with more competition, since having exclusive games for sale on your platform guarantees everyone will come to you in order to buy it. Then again, if Steam decided to remove Rockstar games from their platform, it would hardly affect the developer negatively; they’d certainly be making a lot more money selling their games on their platform, instead of giving over half of the revenue from sales to Steam.
But Rockstar is in a pretty rough place right now, having been accused of tax evasion last summer. According to reports Rockstar Games paid no corporation tax at all from 2009 to 2018 in the UK. Whether or not this will have some sort of major effect on the developer in the coming years remains to be seen, but it probably won’t affect the release of this new launcher, at any rate. For now, just keep in mind that the addition of a free digital copy of GTA: San Andreas is limited time, so if you’re interested in getting that, you should download the free Rockstar Games Launcher now while that is still valid.