If the casual observer were to take a look at the state of the PC gaming industry right now, they’d probably see quite a few similarities between it and the video streaming market. The industry is just as fragmented, and several companies have their own platforms for selling exclusive content. Bethesda, EA, Ubisoft, and Epic all have their own digital distribution platforms, which tend to vary considerably in terms of overall quality and feature sets.
The debate surrounding whether this trend is a positive thing for consumers is a heated one, and we won’t be taking a side there. Instead, we’re here to be the bearers of good or bad news, depending on your perspective: Rockstar is following in the footsteps of the companies mentioned above with a launcher of its own, aptly dubbed the “Rockstar Games Launcher.”
For now, we’re unsure whether or not Rockstar plans to make any of its titles exclusive to the Launcher. Perhaps they’ll go that route with a future Red Dead Redemption 2 PC port — the timing of this Launcher’s release could be further evidence of such a port — but as far as other, existing games go, we’ll have to wait and see what happens.
Moving on to the launcher itself, there isn’t much to talk about. It’s very barebones at the moment, and it has even fewer features than the Epic Games Store. However, Rockstar doesn’t actually sell too many games on PC, so for now, we suppose the service is functional enough.
On the Store page, you’ll see the likes of GTA: Vice City, Bully: Scholarship Edition, GTA V, L.A. Noire, and — of course — GTA: Online’s Shark Cards. Once you’ve purchased a game, it goes to a minimalist “Games” library view, where you can either install or play any content you’ve purchased. There doesn’t appear to be any further customization or tweaking options available at the moment.
To sign in to the Rockstar Games Launcher, you’ll need an active Social Club account. Once you’ve signed up or logged in, you’ll be eligible for a complimentary copy of GTA: San Andreas, but this offer is “limited” (we don’t know when it will end).