The 'Grand Theft Auto 6' halo effect is causing decades-old GTA games to dominate on Netflix

The 'Grand Theft Auto 6' halo effect is causing decades-old GTA games to dominate on Netflix
GTA 6 logo from the game's trailer.Getty Images
  • 20-year-old 'Grand Theft Auto' games are dominating Netflix's gaming platform right now.
  • Take Two Interactive said excitement for "GTA 6" has had a "halo effect" on the franchise.

People are so excited for "Grand Theft Auto 6" that decades-old GTA games are shooting to the top of Netflix's gaming platform.

During an earnings call this week, Take Two Interactive chief executive Strauss Zelnik said the "Grand Theft Auto Trilogy" led Netflix's gaming platform in downloads after the company announced "GTA 6" was coming.

Take Two owns Rockstar Games, which makes the "Grand Theft Auto" franchise.

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The "Grand Theft Auto Trilogy" — released in 2021 — combines three classic titles from the series: "Grand Theft Auto III," "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City," and "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas." All three games were initially released between 2001 and 2004.

Netflix launched Netflix Games in 2021 as a mobile game platform designed to create a "stickier service" that would keep users engaged, according to Investor's Business Daily. After Netflix Games added the "Grand Theft Auto Trilogy" to its platform, it quickly became their top games, according to Netflix.


Zelnik said the announcement of "Grand Theft Auto 6" in December has had a "halo effect across the entire franchise."

"All things GTA, you know, lead to more excitement," he said during the earnings call.

Take Two CFO Lainie Goldstein said sales of "Grand Theft Auto V" also "exceeded expectations" last quarter. The game has sold more than 195 million units since its launch in 2013.

Take Two said the highly anticipated "GTA" sequel would be released in 2025. News that the release date was so far in the future caused the publisher's stock price to dip as much as 7%.

The announcement that the game was even coming, however, was a significant online event. The title's first trailer, posted in December, set YouTube's record for views for a non-music video, Zelnik said. The trailer had more than 170 million views at of time of writing.


Zelnik called Rockstar's partnership with Netflix to launch the "GTA Trilogy" on its platform a "resounding success." He said Take Two is considering launching other games on Netflix Games.

"We'd love to do more with Netflix," Zelnik said. "Who wouldn't? As long as the consumers are happy to be there and as long as the economics of those arrangements make good sense."

Take Two is poised to have a potentially "transformative" next few years as it plans the launch of dozens of new titles, according to Nasdaq.

Goldstein said during the call that the company expects "a little above" $7 billion in revenue for fiscal year 2025.