Surprise! Rockstar Games now has its own PC launcher, appropriately (if a bit blandly) called the Rockstar Games Launcher.
You can download the new launcher here. Through it, you can redeem a digital copy of 2004’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for free. Through the built-in store, you can buy other Rockstar games like Bully and Grand Theft Auto V.
Plenty of companies have their own PC launchers, such as Bethesda and Blizzard. While digital stores like Steam are huge, they take a big cut of all sales. Most games on Steam give 30% of all sales to Valve. Even the Epic Games Store still takes a 12% cut. That is more generous than Valve, but it’s still money not going to Rockstar (or other devs with their own launchers). This launcher could help Rockstar keep all of the profits of the sales of its PC games.
At first glance, this new launcher seems a bit barren. Rockstar doesn’t have too many games for sale, and it doesn’t seem to have features for things like a friends list, messaging, or mod support. The latter is a big deal for games like Grand Theft Auto V, which has a giant modding scene. The launcher will, however, keep games automatically updated and support cloud saving.
It’s also a bit strange to invest like this in PC gaming when Rockstar’s last major release, 2018’s Red Dead Redemption 2, has not come out for PC. Rockstar hasn’t even announced a PC version of the open-world cowboy game.
The store will support purchases from other digital shops, including Steam. It will also work with purchases of disc–based games.