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Netflix has landed The Grand Theft Auto Trilogy

The Definitive Edition hits Netflix’s app in December

The Grand Theft Auto Trilogy - Definitive Edition art featuring a black-haired woman in a white bikini, a brunette woman in a red bra and jacket, and a blonde woman in sunglasses flicking her tongue Image: Rockstar Games/Netflix
Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

The hype for Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto 6 is real, and Netflix is not missing the wave. Continuing its ambitious plans to become a destination for games on top of film and TV, the streamer announced on Tuesday that Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition is headed to Netflix on Dec. 14, with versions of the three games optimized for the mobile experience. With the GTA 6 trailer set to launch early next month — likely around The Game Awards — it’s a strategic move that should actually get people to figure out how to play games on Netflix.

The Definitive Edition trilogy includes Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The two-decade-old games aren’t completely inaccessible — Grand Theft Auto 3 was even ported to mobile way back in 2011 — but the Netflix license makes them even easier to find and pick up on a whim, for anyone antsy to replay or play for the first time. Netflix’s announcement is light on details as far as how the games have been “updated for mobile,” per the news release, but says the trilogy will be playable on via App Store, Google Play, and in the Netflix mobile app for subscribers.

It’s unclear if Netflix’s gaming strategy is paying off; according to a CNBC report from October 2023, less than 1% of all Netflix subscribers play a game on the platform on a daily basis (although that translates to about 2.2 million users who are tapping away on their phones on the Netflix app). Netflix hopes that a mix of recognizable names and new exclusives will bolster the package: Earlier this month, the streamer announced that Hades, Braid: Anniversary Edition, a Dragon Prince game produced by the animation company Wonderstorm, and a slew of other titles would all arrive the platform in the near future. With Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy, Netflix connects its platform to the zeitgeist — now the question is if people will play.

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