A Grand Theft Auto game might debut on Netflix in the foreseeable future, according to a newly surfaced report. The move itself would be a huge statement of intent for Netflix's efforts to build out a premium gaming service.
The streaming giant's first major foray into interactive entertainment started in July 2021, when the company hired former EA executive Mike Verdu to lead its newly formed gaming division. Since then, Netflix launched a mixture of original and licensed games via its Android and iOS apps.
And while the company is continuing to ramp up its in-house development efforts, it also appears keen to keep bolstering its gaming catalog by licensing third-party titles. Namely, Netflix has recently been discussing plans to release a Grand Theft Auto game on its platform, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. Whether those alleged discussions could have already led to a licensing deal with Take-Two Interactive is unclear, with the report merely stating that Netflix is currently interested in adding a single entry from the franchise to its games catalog.
The claim itself arrives two months after Netflix brought its gaming library to PC, Mac, and smart TVs as part of an open beta test available to users in the United Kingdom and Canada. Subscribers in other parts of the world are still limited to accessing the company's games via smartphones and tablets. And though a AAA experience in the vein of contemporary Grand Theft Auto titles might look like a better fit for desktops and TVs, Netflix would presumably be looking to release such a big-name game on all of its supported platforms. That's largely because Netflix games are powered by the company's cloud streaming technology, which makes them platform-agnostic.
Even if that wasn't the case, Rockstar itself already demonstrated that modern Grand Theft Auto games are very much playable on mobile by porting the first three 3D entries in the franchise to Android and iOS. Technical feasibility aside, Take-Two has historically been reluctant to take advantage of game subscription services, which casts some doubt over whether the publisher would be willing to embrace Netflix as a distribution platform for any single Grand Theft Auto game. Then again, doing so would be far from unprecedented, not least because several entries in the franchise like GTA: San Andreas - The Definitive Edition and GTA 5 previously made their way to Xbox Game Pass.
Netflix, for its part, still sees interactive entertainment as merely a way to add value to its core streaming subscription. In other words, none of the company's massive gaming investments are geared toward direct revenue generation, but are solely meant to keep consumers subscribed to Netflix.
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