We previously reported that Grand Theft Auto 4 was set to lose a number of licensed music tracks from the in-game radio stations due to lapsed agreements and today that came to pass.
However, the number of songs that fell casualty to this culling is far greater than expected and unfortunately Rockstar hasn't added an equal amount to fill the void left by the classics.
A patch went live which removes a large number of tracks from the game and added a few to it. It was previously indicated that Vladivostok FM would be the hardest hit by this licensing lapse, and while that's true, the number of songs removed from other stations is also high.
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Vladivostok will never be the same again, with an overwhelming number of songs gutted - All songs from Seryoga, except for one, were removed, Wild Dances is out, as is Schweine and other fan favorites.
A total tally shows that in regular GTA 4, 33 songs were removed from the list and 13 were added, which means the game is 20 songs short compared to before the patch was applied.
The Episodes from Liberty City version had the same 33 songs removed, with just 2 added in their place. The extent of the damage extends beyond Vladivostok FM, however. Classics like David Bowie's Fascination, Heaven and Hell from Black Sabbath, Run to the Hills from Iron Maiden and many, many more.
This thread contains a complete list of songs that were removed and added.
The low number of replacement songs isn't the only issue. No matter how good the songs used to replace those cut, a key part of what gave GTA 4 its essence these past 10 years will be gone. We've been listening to those tunes for a decade, we've associated many of those songs with memories or with specific parts of the game - what GTA 4 fan doesn't have their dedicated police chase song?
And to see so much of it whisked away because of licensing! Worry not, however, as there are ways to prevent this loss from affecting your install of the game. So long as you prevent any updates from being installed, you're good to go with your current version featuring all the classic songs.