Sony's Crunchyroll anime streaming service suspends operations in Russia

The company said it would also pause home entertainment releases.


Another company is temporarily cutting the Russian market off from its services following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. On Friday, Sony’s Entertainment unit blocked Russian users from accessing its Crunchyroll anime streaming service and said it would halt the home entertainment release of films like Spider-Man: No Way Home within Russia, according to Variety. The company had previously said it would not release its upcoming slate of theatrical films in the country.

“We stand with many businesses around the world who have now paused their business operations in Russia, and in support of the humanitarian efforts currently underway in Ukraine and the surrounding region,” Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Tony Vinciquerra said in an email obtained by the outlet. Vinciquerra went on to tell employees the company was also halting future TV distribution deals.

The timing of the Crunchyroll suspension is particularly noteworthy. Following Sony’s $1.175 billion deal to buy the platform in 2020, the company began adding titles from its Funimation catalog at the start of March. In a notice spotted by ComicBook, Crunchyroll told Premium subscribers in Russia it wouldn’t charge them for service while the platform is unavailable in the country. It’s also worth noting Sony’s PlayStation division had already halted hardware and software sales before Friday’s decision.