Crunchyroll has officially launched the Crunchyroll Game Vault for Meta and Ultimate premium subscribers, giving them unlimited access to a vast library of mobile games.
The initiative supports a few games at first: River City Girls, inbento, Worldstride, Captain Velvet Meteor: The Jump Dimensions, and Behind the Frame: The Finest Scenery.
“Packed with plenty to play for fans of anime and anime-inspired entertainment, Crunchyroll Game Vault is available on Android now and iOS very soon in more than 200 countries, all playable with no ads and no in-app purchases,” a statement read.
Get free, unlimited access to a growing library of mobile games with Crunchyroll Game Vault, a new feature now available to Mega Fan and Ultimate Fan members!
Get all the details 🕹️: https://t.co/XwxhjHZ0Zl pic.twitter.com/PNeFX9302I
— Crunchyroll (@Crunchyroll) November 7, 2023
Free Games Limited to Upper Tier Premium Subscribers
The premium subscriptions on Crunchyroll are Fan, Mega Fan, and Ultimate Fan. The Fan premium level subscribers, who pay $7.99 monthly, will not access the Crunchyroll Game Vault. These subscribers can only stream on a single device and enjoy no additional benefits.
The offering is available to Mega and Ultimate tier subscribers only. Mega Fan subscribers pay $9.99 monthly, while Ultimate Fan subscribers pay $14.99 monthly. The two premium tiers also provide access to over 24,000 hours of streaming or offline viewership of anime content across multiple devices.
Crunchyroll will gradually launch some features of this Game Vault for stability. It also plans to add new titles regularly to improve the overall experience.
The EVP of emerging business at Crunchyroll, Terry Li, said the Crunchyroll Game Vault presents a drawn-up and focused library of leading titles targeting anime fans who love gaming. The initiative also adds more value to Crunchyroll subscriptions.
Crunchyroll Game Vault differs from other free-to-download anime gaming titles by the anime streamer, like My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero.
The offering is similar to Netflix’s gaming plans announced two years ago. However, Netflix’s gaming plans are still testing, with the streaming giant making its games available to all subscribers.
Fans Are Not Impressed
Fans have reacted to the roll-out, with the majority expressing their displeasure with the latest initiative. One user said the offering was only “good in theory” and Crunchyroll should focus on improving its app.
This seems good in theory, but I much rather have Crunchyroll focus on fixing/improving their app.
There’s some features that were promised that never came to the shows that needed them, and I’ve been waiting over a year for the subtitles in Dr. Stone to be fixed!
— Rogue Wave (@Rogue_Wave7) November 7, 2023
Others also opined that Crunchyroll would instead release new anime shows on its streaming platform than have free games for top subscribers.
Crunchyroll Partners With Walmart
Crunchyroll has also taken a bold leap into retail by partnering with Walmart. The partnership will create seamless shopping experiences for anime fans.
It was reported that Crunchyroll is partnering up Walmart to stock various anime merchandise in 2,400 locations nationwide
Some of the merchandise include but not limited too:
• Crunchyroll Subscription gift cards
• Vinyl records
The merchandise is set to roll out… pic.twitter.com/y0QskLBugR
— 🧭Manga Alerts & Restocks #uw7s🌊 (@MangaAlerts) November 6, 2023
The Crunchyroll Fan Shop will launch in over 2,400 Walmart stores through this partnership. The Crunchyroll Fan Shop supports various anime merchandise such as DVDs, vinyl, and figurines. It also supports gift card subscriptions for the streaming service to boost its numbers.
The partnership also highlights Walmart’s strategy to appeal to younger shoppers with a strong affinity for anime. Crunchyroll also distinguishes itself from other streaming platforms, such as Netflix, by focusing on anime.