Crunchyroll, the anime-focused streaming service, is giving its premium members immediate access to a growing library of mobile video games, the company said in a press release on Tuesday.
Mega Fan and Ultimate Fan members will have access to the Crunchyroll Game Vault, a library of curated mobile games for fans of "anime and anime-inspired entertainment." The Crunchyroll Game Vault is live for fans in over 200 countries and territories, and the games themselves won't feature any ads or in-app purchases.
The initial crop of games include Captain Velvet: The Jump+ Dimensions, River City Girls, Wolfstride, Behind the Frame: The Finest Scenery and Inbento. Crunchyroll Games, the division of Crunchyroll dedicated to publishing free-to-download games, already has a line of published titles available to anyone, including Street Fighter: Duel, My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero and next year's One Punch Man: World.
Streaming services have been giving viewers more value-adds to keep people locked-in. Netflix began giving free games in 2021 and has since expanded the list to 78 titles, many based on its own properties. Amazon Prime and Prime video members can claim free games and other in-game perks. Given that Netflix and Amazon both have retention rates of 72%, video games could be one of many factors keeping people from canceling their subscriptions. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video brought in $31.6 billion and $5.16 billion in revenues in 2022, respectively.
Sony purchased Crunchyroll from AT&T in 2021 for $1.175 billion after taking a majority stake in Funimation, a Texas-based anime streaming service, four years prior. Sony moved more than 1,600 hours of Funimation's library over to Crunchyroll in 2022. Crunchyroll also launched a 24/7 anime streaming channel last month, available to watch for free on Amazon Freevee, LG Channels on LG Smart TVs, Vizio WatchFree Plus and The Roku Channel. The anime streaming service was recently made available on the Amazon Prime video app.
Crunchyroll settled a $16 million class-action lawsuit last month for allegedly disclosing user data to third parties, including Google Analytics, Facebook and Adobe Analytics. Crunchyroll denies any wrongdoing.