Crunchyroll in PS+? It would be logical…

news culture Crunchyroll in PS+? It would be logical…

Following the acquisition of Crunchyroll by Sony during the summer of 2021, then the expected merger of the simulcast platform with its competitor Wakanim and finally the launch of PlayStation Plus Premium/Extra, the integration of the SVOD service into the PS + seems to go in the direction of history. During an interview granted to the editorial staff of JV, the representatives of Crunchyroll EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) returned to this hypothesis which seemed like a fantasy.

Summary

  • Crunchyroll & PS+: A Cross Media Fantasy
  • Crunchyroll & Wakanim: A Historic Merger

The mere fact of imagining the arrival of the Crunchyroll subscription on PlayStation Plus is enough to make anime and video game lovers shudder. Such integration in the new offers put in place by Sony (Premium or Extra) could overshadow Microsoft by betting on a cross-media approach. The Japanese firm had launched a similar service in Poland in April 2021 during a one-year test phase. The PlayStation Plus Video Pass then gave access to 20 films and series from Sony Pictures.

Sony would be inspired to bet on Japanese animation to strengthen its PlayStation + offer and thus overshadow its main competitor… the famous Game Pass whose video game offer seems to be unanimous. However, Crunchyroll, in the person of Head EMEA and a representative of the France division, does not make PS + its priority. The service prefers to bet on the development of its own universe which brings together mangas, animes and dramas under a common banner. Integrating Crunchyroll into the PS + would be logical, and therefore a track to study, but it is neither for now, nor in the hands of Crunchyroll.

Will the Crunchyroll subscription integrate PlayStation +? Can anime and video game lovers expect such an offer in 2022 or 2023? Is it still today a simple fantasy?

Our unification with Wakanim is still recent. The announcement was made less than a year ago, and the tie-up began last month. We cannot announce anything for the moment on our long-term strategy, but being part of the Sony family is an avenue to study. – Crunchyroll France

These decisions come directly from Sony and not from Crunchyroll. Today, Crunchyroll is not just a streaming platform, but also an ecosystem around entertainment related to Japanese culture. For the moment, the priority is to define this universe with all the fields that we currently have. – Crunchyroll France

I have no information regarding our strategy with the PS+. That doesn’t mean we don’t have it, but I don’t have the items. – John Easum (Head EMEA, Crunchyroll)


Crunchyroll & Wakanim: A Historic Merger

On March 1, 2022, an announcement turned the Japanese animation market upside down, and more specifically distribution outside Japan. Crunchyroll formalizes its merger with Wakanim and then became the main simulcast platform (for Simultaneous Broadcast) in France. This strategic choice stems from the acquisition by Sony for 1.1 billion dollars of the North American SVOD service specializing in anime during the summer of 2021. Already in possession of Wakanim and DNA, Sony is getting its hands on the last major player in the market on French soil. The merger was then only a matter of time.

In fact, Crunchyroll “absorbs” Wakanim, starting with its substantial catalog of animated series and films, even if the repatriation of all these franchises will ultimately take much longer than initially assumed by the simulcast platform. Japanimation’s major sagas – Demon Slayer, Jujutsu Kaisen, Attack on Titan, etc. – already coexist on Crunchyroll. By terms, no less than 50 titles will join the catalog, representing 1,000 hours of content. By the end of 2022, Chainsaw Man, but also Blue Lock should unleash passions… on Crunchyroll of course… while waiting for Solo Leveling scheduled for 2023.