Can Netflix Games Replicate The Success Of GTA On The Platform?

Netflix Games, the gaming platform within the Netflix app, offers gamers the option of one hundred games, including games based on notable TV shows like Stranger Things and successful gaming franchises like Sonic The Hedgehog and GTA The Trilogy The Definitive Edition. That last bundle happens to house the most popular game on Netflix Games so far: GTA San Andreas. We can’t help but ask: is Netflix Games ever going to be able to break that record?

GTA Trilogy on Netflix

What Are The Numbers Netflix Will Have To Beat?

We have to go over what the combined number of downloads has been for the GTA Trilogy and also how many downloads each of the games has received. Across all three games, the collection has gained over 30 million downloads. However, if we are to break it down, GTA San Andreas is by far the most popular game on Netflix, receiving 20.5 million downloads, just itself. GTA Vice City gained 6.5 million, and GTA 3 gained the lowest with 3.3 million. Now that we have our number of 20.5 million, and we factor in that Netflix has about 270 million subscribers worldwide, we can now do some guessing and try to figure out if Netflix can match this success.

How Big Do They Need To Go?

Whilst we all know the popularity of the GTA series, especially GTA 5, we also need to factor in the most likely games that Netflix could license or develop which could match the numbers of GTA San Andreas. Let’s start by looking at Sonic Mania Plus and Sonic Prime Dash, which, despite being games in the popular Sonic The Hedgehog franchise, didn’t have numbers anywhere near as notable as GTA San Andreas. Likewise, neither have the games based on the popular Stranger Things or Too Hot To Handle series.

When we look for potential Netflix films or TV show IP, which could reach such levels, you have to look towards Netflix’s family animation to find content like The Sea Beast, which could potentially hit such heights due to its popularity. When you look at gaming franchises that could potentially reach the heights of GTA San Andreas, you’d have to consider other best-selling games and franchises of all time. We will start with Tetris, which could easily become a major hit for Netflix Games. But, due to the abundance of Tetris games, it may not take off as intended. The same issue plagues games like Call Of Duty, EA Sports FC, Madden, and Resident Evil (alongside issues around actually porting those games to mobile).

However, there is one outlier…

Minecraft, in my opinion, is the only game which currently exists that could dethrone GTA San Andreas as Netflix Games’ top game. However, there are some obvious issues. Minecraft has many versions as well as several lesser spinoffs. So, you’d have to factor in the fragmentation of the game. Minecraft has different versions, including Bedrock Edition, Java Edition, and Pocket Edition. The version that may end up on Netflix could be inferior to a version on other platforms. This also is dependent on Netflix being able to license Minecraft from Microsoft. Considering how lucrative Minecraft is, I doubt it will happen.

Netflix Games

Shooting For The Clouds

In reality, I don’t think we will see a game hit the same heights on Netflix Games that GTA San Andreas has hit. However, with Netflix Games building out its cloud gaming service, we could easily see Netflix focus on licensing games for its cloud platform alongside its mobile platform. Personally, I think it makes more sense for Netflix to focus on increasing the popularity of its subscription service as a games platform – a rising tide raises all ships. Gaming is just like any industry: some products will be more successful than others, but that doesn’t make anything that doesn’t hit San Andreas numbers a failure. It has just found a different audience.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know on social media.

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