Crunchyroll Launches Free Games for Upper-Tier Subscribers, Taking a Page From Netflix’s Playbook

Crunchyroll, the Sony-owned anime streamer, is getting its game on — adopting a strategy similar to Netflix’s foray into the video-game space.

On Tuesday (Nov. 7), Crunchyroll launched Game Vault, which provides unlimited access to a collection of mobile games selected with anime fans in mind. The perk is available worldwide to customers of Crunchyroll’s top two plans: Mega ($9.99 per month in the U.S.) and Ultimate Fan ($14.99 per month). The entry-level Fan tier ($7.99 per month) will not include the games.

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As with Netflix Games, which debuted in 2021, Crunchyroll Game Vault games are available for no extra charge to streaming subscribers and are playable with no ads and no in-app purchases. Netflix includes games with all of its plans, though, while Crunchyroll is offering the gaming titles only with the top two tiers.

Out of the gate, Crunchyroll Game Vault includes five titles. Three are coming to mobile for the first time exclusively on the service: tactical action game “Captain Velvet: The Jump+ Dimensions” (Momo-pi); fighting game “River City Girls” (WayForward); and single-player role playing game “Wolfstride” (Ota Imon Studios). The other two titles are visual novel “Behind the Frame: The Finest Scenery” (Silver Lining Studio) and food-themed puzzle title “Inbento” (Afterburn).

According to Crunchyroll, some features of the Game Vault will be “released incrementally to ensure stability.” The company said it will be regularly adding new titles the lineup.

“Crunchyroll Game Vault is a curated, focused library of premium titles for the global anime fan that loves gaming, adding even more value to Crunchyroll memberships by connecting fans with anime-infused content,” said Terry Li, EVP of emerging business at Crunchyroll.

Crunchyroll Game Vault is separate from the free-to-download anime game titles published by Crunchyroll Games. Those include “Street Fighter: Duel,” “My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero” and the upcoming “One Punch Man: World.”

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