According to an official post from the company on its website, streaming titan Netflix has acquired the rights to offer Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition to their subscribers. This follows what the company has been trying recently in diversifying into offering gaming content, and it’s a big swing with one of gaming’s biggest names.
The Former King
Netflix was the first big company offering TV and movie streaming to the masses. It shot out of the gate in 2007 and quickly became a household name for its convenience and wide library of titles. Since that point, its share of global demand has been diminishing, challenged by the likes of Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney+.
As other streaming services carved away its content, Netflix had to fight to stay relevant. It managed this to some degree with original content, but with other streamers following suit, this approach was not enough. Taking a more experimental lead, Netflix is now entering the gaming space, offering games as might be expected with subscription systems like PS Plus or Game Pass.
Gaming and Streaming
An investment in gaming from Netflix illustrates a forward-thinking approach that’s more than just a stab in the dark. Gaming is bigger than ever, current subscribers grew up with gaming, and just as importantly, gaming films and shows are now taking off. The likes of The Last of Us and the Mario movie have received commercial and critical acclaim, so leveraging this popularity directly with a video streaming service illustrates a natural step forward.
A Grand Issue
Grand Theft Auto 5 is the single most profitable piece of entertainment in history. Its success is unprecedented, and with the news of GTA 6 on the horizon, it makes sense to capitalize on the property. The trilogy of games Netflix has invested in, GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas, were smash hits on the PS2, but the Definitive edition they’ve invested in might be problematic.
The people who play games today know what they want, they know what works, and they understand a conversion done right. This is why online casino games like Megaways slot titles were so successful when they moved from Flash to HTML5. Games like Jack Frost and Wolf Blaze still offered the same great experience after they were ported to a new platform, and they play just as well on mobiles as on desktops. The version of the GTA Trilogy that Netflix has invested in, however, is not so lucky.
When the Definitive Edition remaster first launched in November of 2021, it was not well received. This version was built on mobile ports, featuring a huge range of bugs and bizarrely poor performance. While we hope that Netflix’s mobile version works with updated code and can actually deliver, it’s a bold approach to have your first big-name launch of such a universally decried product.
With around 80 titles already in its lineup, Netflix is slowly but surely making ground in this new gaming space. Whether its approach with the GTA Trilogy and its physical locations will end up being winners, that much is impossible to predict. For the sake of players at least, we hope this release will be a positive one, so a new generation can shake in some of our favorite games, and we can get back into following that damn train.