GTA and Sonic Coming to Netflix’s Gaming Platform – Are Licences the Key to Its Future?

We’ve noticed that Netflix appears to be expanding its gaming catalogue with some notable names. No one who is a gamer can say they’ve never heard of Sonic or GTA – and now they’re a part of Netflix? In this guide, we explore GTA and Sonic coming to Netflix’s gaming platform. Are licences the key to its future?


Netflix new platform 

Netflix launched its gaming service in November 2021 as part of its subscription plans at no extra cost and it is not a separate gaming platform. The games are available on Android and iOS mobile devices through the main Netflix app and users can browse and select games alongside Netflix shows and movies.

As of December 2022, Netflix had over 30 mobile games available, ranging in difficulty from simple adventure or role-playing games to more challenging games like card matching or hoop shooting. Ads and in-app purchases are absent from the games and when compared to specialised gaming platforms, the catalogue of games is still very small. Adding games doesn’t seem to be primarily about taking on major gaming platforms; rather, it seems to be about keeping and rewarding current viewers.

Netflix has acquired some small gaming studios but analysts believe they will need to acquire many more studios and developers to significantly build out their gaming content catalogue over time if they want to aggressively compete in gaming. Netflix’s gaming platform is a small addition so far aimed at mobile gameplay for existing subscribers. It’s not positioned or substantial enough yet to rival dedicated gaming platforms. But Netflix seems committed to slowly expanding its gaming footprint.


The problem with licences 

The licensing of intellectual property can be a major issue in the gaming industry. Major properties like movies, sports leagues, or characters often charge very high fees to license their IP for games. This drives up development costs and risks for game makers. Licenses often expire after a number of years, at which point the game maker loses the rights to that IP. This can shorten the viable commercial life of games.

The licensing deals come with complicated legal contracts stipulating content restrictions, quality controls, revenue sharing and more for the game makers. These strict rules limit creativity sometimes.

When a major movie or character is licensed by many different game makers, it leads to market oversaturation, this intensified competition makes it harder for games to succeed commercially. Occasionally licensors revoke licenses early if they are unhappy with game content or sales, leaving developers high and dry after investing significantly. You can avoid any licensed name with this elf name generator if you’re looking for an innovative name for your character.


Grand Theft Auto (GTA) 

GTA is a hugely popular open world action-adventure video game series published by Rockstar Games. The first GTA game was released in 1997 and since then, there have been over a dozen titles and expansions in the overall series. Best-selling titles include Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5), which has sold over 200 million copies as of 2023, making it one of the best-selling games ever.

Despite recurring debates about violent material, Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is a market leader in terms of sales and critical acclaim. It also invented the open-world action-adventure genre when it came to crime-based storylines. It is regarded as one of the most well-known video game franchises ever.




In an attempt to challenge Nintendo’s Mario as the mascot for their gaming business, Sega invented Sonic, a blue, furry hedgehog, in 1991. Platform games that emphasise Sonic’s speed as he gathers rings and overcomes Dr. Robotnik by releasing his animal friends make up the core Sonic game series. Even though not every Sonic game has received positive reviews, the Sonic franchise and the characters are regarded as gaming icons and have some of the most devoted fan communities. For more than 30 years, Sonic the Hedgehog has served as the face of Sega, appearing in numerous hit titles that helped to develop his famous fast-paced platform game.



By incorporating both of these hugely successful franchises into the Netflix gaming catalogue, perhaps Netflix can cement itself as a legitimate gaming contender, rather than a gimmick to get more subscribers.


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