A price hike isn’t the only drawback to anime streaming service Funimation shutting down and combining with fellow provider Crunchyroll on April 2.
While most of Funimation’s catalog will be available on Crunchyroll, digital purchases made by Funimation subscribers won’t make the transition.
“Please note that Crunchyroll does not currently support Funimation Digital copies, which means that access to previously available digital copies will not be supported,” Funimation said in an FAQ dedicated to the merger.
Anime fans took to social media to voice their displeasure in the news.
“Remember not to buy any digital content from [Crunchyroll],” one Reddit users said. “They did it once, they’ll do it again.”
On X, formerly Twitter, a user criticized Sony’s — Funimation and Crunchyroll’s parent company — choice to remove user purchases without a refund. The user went on to ask, “If buying isn’t owning, is pirating stealing?”
Refunds for digital copies aren’t mentioned in the FAQ, but at this time, Funimation directs users to its support team for subscription refunds.
As noted by Ars Technica, Funimation had said users could keep those purchased digital copies “forever,” but added there were some restrictions. Now we know what those restrictions have led to.
It might be wishful thinking, but a similar incident in Sony’s history may give upset subscribers a bit of hope.
In December, Sony walked back its decision to delete purchased Discovery shows from its users’ digital libraries. The decision to keep the shows came after the company reached a deal with Warner Bros. Discovery.
For now, Funimation subscribers will need to merge their accounts with Crunchyroll before the April 2 deadline.