Rockstar ditches Windows 7 and 8, forces players to update OS

If you're still using Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, the Grand Theft Auto developer is following Steam's example, with support being patched out.

Rockstar pulls Windows 7 and 8 support

Windows 10 and 11 are fast becoming the only operating systems that support gaming, and Rockstar is the latest developer to drop support for older versions. This has all come about because Microsoft has stopped providing security updates for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1, leaving them vulnerable and open to attacks.

Steam recently pulled support for every Windows OS below 10, meaning some of the best PC games can now only be played on the most recent Microsoft operating systems. This move appears to be the catalyst for many other game publishers, such as Rockstar, also ending support, signaling a long overdue update for the GTA 5 system requirements.

In this case, Rockstar has gone about ending support in a slightly different way, outright removing it with a non-negotiable update to the Rockstar Launcher. This means games such as Grand Theft Auto 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 are no longer playable for some gamers.

Steam still currently works on Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 because Valve stopped providing updates and promising that games would be fully compatible. If you still use the older Windows versions, Steam still works, it’s just that Valve won’t offer you support of any kind should issues arise.

Rockstar instead pulled support outright, and the moment you update your launcher, your games won’t work until you update to either Windows 11 or 10. Worse still, the update is unavoidable as it automatically begins once you boot up the launcher.

This much more definitive approach to the end of support for old versions of Windows has left the community divided. Many gamers on Reddit have stated that this is a no-brainer move, with older Windows versions being a clear security risk that isn’t worth taking.

On the other side of the argument are players who simply have a level of comfort with the older operating systems that they now feel forced to sacrifice. They understand the risk involved, and would rather take it than be backed into a corner.

Steam’s approach has been referenced many times during these discussions, but all roads ultimately lead to the same destination where Windows 10 and 11 are the only operating systems that people will be able to use for gaming.

We recently saw that Windows 11 got its biggest influx of Steam users ever off the back of these updates, while also discovering that Windows 10 support is set to end next year, potentially causing more OS update woes for gamers.