A new Grand Theft Auto Game may be on the horizon, and no, we’re not talking about Grand Theft Auto 6. Instead, it sounds like streaming giant Netflix wants a taste of the GTA pie, and is reportedly trying to get a Grand Theft Auto game of some kind onto its Netflix Games service.
This comes from a report in the Wall Street Journal today covering the company’s ongoing efforts to make a meal out of its library of original IP in the games space after acquiring a number of game development studios. The report claims that the company has “discussed plans” to release a Grand Theft Auto game on its service through a licensing deal with publisher Take-Two Interactive. What kind of game it would be, or who would develop it, remains to be seen.
As things now stand, any GTA spin-off that ended up on Netflix would inevitably be a mobile game, as currently the only way to play Netflix’s portfolio is through its mobile app. The report suggests that Netflix hopes to eventually expand its library to include games that can be streamed from TV or PC.
According to one analyst speaking to the WSJ, Netflix has spend about $1 billion on games so far. And it seems to be aiming to hire more game executives to oversee a foray into AAA titles. But there’s currently no good way to tell exactly how well that investment is paying off for the company, or whether it ever will. Rather than standalone purchases, the games are tied into Netflix subscriptions, which we’ll get an updated figure on during the company’s earnings on Wednesday. But there’s no way of knowing if games are convincing people to subscribe.
They don’t seem to be providing an especially strong draw for existing subscribers, though. As of September 20 these games have been downloaded 70.5 million times total. That may sound like a lot, but it’s a far cry from some of the massive numbers pulled in by the world’s biggest mobile games. For instance, Honkai: Star Rail managed over 20 million downloads by itself on its launch day alone earlier this year. And Apptopia estimates that fewer than 1% of Netflix subscribers play its games on a daily basis – perhaps unsurprising given that much of its catalog, including its most prestige titles like Oxenfree, Immortality, Spiritfarer, and others, are available elsewhere.
We previously wrote about Netflix’s big video game push earlier this year, but it sounds like the landscape hasn’t changed much since then. While a big Grand Theft Auto release could potentially turn the tide, it’s also possible that an imminent Grand Theft Auto 6 release elsewhere would drastically overshadow whatever Netflix cooks up, rather than neatly tie onto it.
Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to email@example.com.
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Author: Rebekah Valentine