OTT & Transmedia : Critical Role's Impressive 8 Years of Transmedia Success! by Ashley Renee Smith

Ashley Renee Smith

Critical Role's Impressive 8 Years of Transmedia Success!

Critical Role just celebrated its 8-year anniversary this week and I couldn't be more impressed by all that they've accomplished in that short time.

For those of you who don't know, Critical Role is a fully creator-owned American web series in which a group of professional voice actors plays Dungeons & Dragons. While I'm not a D&D fan myself, I am surrounded by fans of this streaming series, some of whom started watching the show with no previous knowledge or interest in D&D or tabletop games. Since Critical Role began streaming in 2015, they've aired nearly 30 hours of content and are currently followed by over a million loyal viewers.

But what truly impresses me is how they've managed to grow the IP that they own into other transmedia outlets. In 2019, they managed to raise over 11 million dollars to fund an animated series based on their first campaign. That series was then picked up by Amazon Prime and greenlit for 2 more seasons! Critical Role now has a deal in place with commitments from Amazon to produce more series and even features, developed by Critical Role's company and based on their IP.

Are there any Critical Role fans here at Stage 32? If so, I'd love to know your thoughts about how this company and its content have grown over the last 8 years! Or if you're more of a Dimension 20 fan (another D&D streaming series), I'd love to know why and what sets them apart from one another.

If you're interested in learning more, here's an article getting into more specifics about the company's successes:

Critical Role Celebrates 8th Anniversary
Critical Role Celebrates 8th Anniversary
Critical Role officially turns 8 years old today. The popular D&D webseries first aired on March 12th, 2015 on Geek & Sundry's Twitch channel, kicking off what would eventually become a multimedia phe…
Shadow Dragu-Mihai, Esq

Have never heard of them. I have seen Viva la Dirt League's "Epic NPC Man" series, which is fun. It would be nice of either or both of these series would seek IIPG Award consideration!

Bill McCormick

HA! I found you! I'm glad you enjoyed Marcie's Marvels. Issue #2 is with the artist as I type.

Ashley Renee Smith

Shadow Dragu-Mihai, Esq they're doing really interesting things! I haven't heard of Epic NPC Man, I'll have to check it out.

Ashley Renee Smith

Bill McCormick, welcome! I look forward to the second issue. Once it's available, you'll have to post about it in the Your Stage lounge to let the community know. That's the area of the site where you can promote your own projects so that people know where to find them.

Bill McCormick

Ashley Renee Smith I didn't know there was such a lounge and I can't find it on my menu.

Elaine Haygood

I'm very much a Critter (It's what we fans of CR are called ).

I just want to clear up a few things:

They originally set out to raise about $270,000.00 (USD) to do a 30-minute animated special for the Critters and ended up raising that $11,000,000.00. The minute Amazon got wind of that, they made the offer to expand them to a minimum of 2 seasons since CR already had enough money along with a commitment from Titmouse to cover their 1st season.

The success of the 1st season and THEN S2 prompted Amazon to green-light Season 3 as well as at least 1 season of The Mighty Nein which will be based on CR's Second Campaign.

This makes Vox Machina one of Amazon's more successful forays into the fantasy genre as Rings of Power has done more to tick off Tolkien Fans ( Yes, I'm a LOTR fan as well ) than PJ leaving Tom Bombadil out of FOTR.

That aside. CR is becoming quite the juggernaut in the TTRPG world as along with the campaigns, they're proven to be actual BOSSES as they've expanded into Publishing and Music as well as some very high-quality merch that can be bought either directly through their website and at Cons.

Ashley Renee Smith

They're killin it! Thank you so much for sharing these details Elaine! Are you also a D20 fan? I've never watched either, but I have friends who seem to really enjoy both.

Also, I didn't know the fans were called Critters and I love that so much! =)

Elaine Haygood

Ashley Renee Smith Yes. I do really like D20. Though, they're not as consistent on YouTube as CR because you can't always see complete campaigns there. But, a few of my fave Gamers outside of CR have been featured on D20 so, I watch what epis I can.

In fact. I would suggest that should you want to watch a campaign or two. Start with D20 as their epis are shorter ( about 2 hours or less ).

CR's epis are usually around 4 hours, meaning they have well over 400 hours of content as Vox Machina clocks in at around 300 epis and The Mighty Nein is around 120. And that doesn't include their other programs such as Travis' Yee Haw Game Ranch, 4-Sided dive, Talks Machina, Narrative Telphone, or All WorkAnd No Play.

But, CR does have some FUN 1 shots you might enjoy-Crash Pandas is a personal fave.

Ashley Renee Smith

That's all great to know, thank you Elaine Haygood!

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