Iconic Grand Theft Auto games are coming to Netflix, with GTA III, GTA: San Andreas and GTA: Vice City available for streaming via the Netflix (NFLX) mobile app beginning December 14. Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley, Josh Schafer and Alexandra Canal discuss how adding the blockbuster gaming franchise could benefit Netflix's interactive entertainment push.
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DAN HOWLEY: GTA is coming to Netflix, GTA, "Grand Theft Auto." I remember playing this. I was saying before when we were discussing this. Listening to Limp Bizkit, this is like two months ago. No, I'm just kidding. When I was younger in high school, the original "Grand Theft Auto 3" it's coming to Netflix. You'll be able to get it through the Play Store, the App Store, or through Netflix on mobile.
You're going to get the original "Grand Theft Auto 3." You're going to get "Grand Theft Auto San Andreas." You're going to get "Grand Theft Auto Vice City." I can't remember the name of the actor still who does the voice in Vice City. But either way, "Tears for Fears" all over that soundtrack for Vice City.
And this is a massive move for Netflix. This franchise is virtually unstoppable. "Grand Theft Auto V" came out, I want to say, 2013, 2014, something around there. It's still making bank for Take-Two Interactive. That's a parent company of Rockstar Games, which puts out "Grand Theft Auto." They have now "Grand Theft Auto" online, printing millions of dollars for them nonstop. You just get on there, they release an update and people just won't stop.
This is huge news because they're fighting Microsoft, they're fighting Sony now. They're fighting, not so much Nintendo. They're not really-- Nintendo does their own kind of thing. But the fact that they're getting into this gaming space so deeply now with such a huge franchise means that they're going to be up against some tough competition.
JOSH SCHAFER: Well, to me, I mean, you just-- like you said, Dan, you go out and get that big of a brand, it feels like such a win when you're trying to build a new arm to your business. We talk about this a lot with the streamers even with what movies they have, right, and what kind of content you get. You want to go out and basically get a top dog. "Grand Theft Auto" is easily that. Allie, I'm curious from the Netflix perspective, does this actually help them get more subscribers? Like, what's the play for Netflix here in the strategy if you think of what they've said about gaming?
ALEXANDRA CANAL: They say that it will. I mean, they have 80 games right now and counting. This, obviously, adds to it. And they say it's a huge entertainment opportunity. Greg Peters, a co-CEO, he talked about it at length on the last earnings call. He said that it's something that they can leverage in order to drive their core business. And it's a way to do this at scale, especially if you attract those hard-core -- Howley, I know you're one of them-- with those big recognizable brands and names and different-- and I mean, like you said, if you're able to get a game as big as "Grand Theft Auto," I think that's a great start when you're trying to differentiate yourself in the streaming wars and also trying to lure as many subscribers as possible.
DAN HOWLEY: Playing "Grand Theft Auto" on the toilet at work, don't tell anyone.
JOSH SCHAFER: It's going to be hard to play on your phone, though, right?
DAN HOWLEY: Yeah. I mean, it's not like the best experience to get one of those like backbone things that like puts the controllers on the side and then you can really start, you know, driving tanks down the middle of the streets or whatever you want to do.
ALEXANDRA CANAL: Because this is only available on mobile right now. And we'll see if they have plans to maybe do it on desktop. For now, it's solely mobile.
DAN HOWLEY: Yeah. It's-- and the mobile market, you know, the 800-pound gorilla in the room in the mobile market was Activision Blizzard, because they have "King," which has "Candy Crush." Microsoft has "Candy Crush" now. So it's, you know, any time you get on a train in New York, you'll see someone riding and just crushing candy left and right.
So the fact that Netflix is kind of trying to get into that space and now has that competition as well, I mean, you got to think they've put a lot of thought into this to go with such a big franchise as "Grand Theft Auto." I haven't played it in a little bit, but maybe I'll jump back on.