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Crunchyroll joins Netflix Games, but how does its “Vault” work?

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Following in the footsteps of Netflix, Crunchyroll is offering games to subscribers and the two companies are taking very similar approaches.

Streaming services are restructuring their pitch to subscribers by expanding their content offerings. Sony’s anime-focused service is the latest example, introducing a new gaming service named Crunchyroll Vault. Subscribers in select tiers will have access to a handful of games, with more to come later.

A subscription-based service for games isn’t new, but the steady success of Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus has attracted the attention of non-endemic companies. Netflix Games is now a full-fledged subsidiary of Netflix and has 80 mobile games available, most notably Spiritfarer and a Queen’s Gambit-themed chess app. Netflix has also recently ventured into cloud streaming and taken steps to become competitive with non-mobile-based platforms.

But in 2021, Netflix also introduced five games to app stores that were exclusively available to Netflix subscribers. The newly launched Crunchyroll Vault intends to play by the same book.

How does Crunchyroll Vault work?

Crunchyroll Vault offers unlimited access to games for Mega Fan and Ultimate Fan subscribers. These subscription tiers cost $9.99 and $15.99 per month, respectively. Crunchyroll Vault access is not available to the free subscribers or fan subscription tiers.

It’s worth noting that Crunchyroll Game Vault is separate from Crunchyroll Games, which includes free-to-play titles like Street Fighter: Duel, My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero, and the upcoming One Punch Man: World.

There are a few key differences between Crunchyroll and Netflix’s video game offerings. Netflix doesn’t have any other gaming subscription service or an anime-oriented gaming service. Alongside this, Netflix has not yet made any of its games exclusive to certain subscription tiers. While Netflix Games offers features such as maturity ratings, cloud saves, and multi-device accessibility, Crunchyroll Vault currently lacks these options.

Crunchyroll Vault has partnered with developers for games including Captain Velvet: The Jump+ Dimensions, River City Girls, Wolfstride, Behind the Frame: The Finest Scenery, and Inbento. Subscribers can access these games on Android through QR codes on the official Crunchyroll website or by visiting the games’ pages on Google Play. This feature will be available on iOS devices soon.

More games will be added to the lineup down the road and just like Netflix Games, the Crunchyroll service promises an experience free of ads and in-app purchases.

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Written by Mohamed Hassan

Mohamed still treasures his time playing games on the original PlayStation, speedrunning through the Megaman X games and replaying acclaimed role-playing game Chrono Cross countless times. Since then, his love for JRPGs and platformers has only grown and is among the driving forces behind his passion for writing about video games.

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