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Netflix has reportedly spoken with Rockstar about releasing a Grand Theft Auto game as the streaming giant plans to add “higher-end” games to its library

Plans to develop games based on its own hit series while licensing other titles

Netflix has reportedly spoken with Grand Theft Auto devs Rockstar about releasing a GTA title via the streaming service, according to new reports. The talks occurred as the movie and TV behemoth apparently works to bring “higher-end” titles to their growing catalogue of video games.

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That’s per multiple unnamed sources who spoke with the Wall Street Journal, claiming that Netflix hopes to licence prominent names from the world of video games to add to its own stable of studios. The company previously snapped up Oxenfree makers Night School Studio, Cozy Grove devs Spry Fox and Next Games, the team behind Stranger Things ‘puzzle RPG’ Puzzle Tales.

Among the names said to be in discussion is Grand Theft Auto, which Netflix reportedly discussed licensing from Rockstar in order to release a game in the series. Whether that would be a brand new title - albeit likely smaller, like spin-off Chinatown Wars - or a streaming version of an existing GTA is unclear.

The sources added that while Netflix is “taking steps to expand into higher-end games that can be streamed from TVs or PCs”, the company would also look at adapting their own properties, including shows such as Black Mirror and movies including Extraction.

A TV and laptop showing the beta of Netflix's cloud gaming platform, while a phone displays a touch interface controller
Image credit: Netflix

According to the WSJ, less than one percent of Netflix subscribers play their games daily - with only half of those who hit the button to look at its games actually going on to download and play something. Even so, downloads have more than doubled over the last year, up to 70.5 million according to data trackers Apptopia.

Netflix’s library of downloadable games has some surprisingly strong offerings among its more than 70 titles, from Kentucky Route Zero and Immortality to Oxenfree 2 and Terra Nil, so it seems it’s more a case of convincing people they’re worth the effort (or worth playing on a mobile screen) rather than having quality games to offer at all.

As well as buying other existing studios, the streaming company has also founded their own studio - with former Overwatch exec producer Chacko Sonny at the helm - to work on a triple-A PC game, with hints that it’ll probably be a shooter of some kind built in Unreal.

On top of that, they’ve started to experiment with streaming games to PC and mobile rather than just offering them for download, testing out game streaming via TV (using something like a Chromecast) and PC (via a browser) using either a keyboard and mouse or a virtual controller on your phone screen. The trial is currently a beta with a limited rollout across the UK and Canada.

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