The animated adaptation of one of the most popular role-playing series in the country is coming to streaming television in 2020. Amazon Prime Video has ordered two seasons of the animated show Vox Machina, which was initially planned to be a fan-supported project to adapt the long-running Dungeons & Dragons-inspired series Critical Role into a narrative television series.
Critical Role is one of the breakout shows in an upcoming genre of TV and podcasts known as “real play.” Real play shows are usually unscripted, and involve a group of cast members playing a role-playing game like Dungeons and Dragons or something similar, using the game to tell a narrative story. Critical Role initially broadcast over the Amazon-owned platform Twitch and is archived on YouTube, and across both platforms has amassed approximately 68 million views.
In March of this year, the team behind Critical Role announced that they would be fundraising to adapt their first D&D campaign into an animated special over Kickstarter. The team made headlines after becoming Kickstarter’s most-funded film or TV project ever, raising over $11 million over the course of the fundraiser. The team’s initial goal of $750,000 was met within one hour. Following the Kickstarter, the Critical Role team announced that they would be increasing their initial plan for the series from 6 to 10 episodes.
Today, it was announced that Vox Machina would be increasing its episode account yet again. In addition to the 10 episodes funded by the Kickstarter, Amazon Prime Video will be funding 14 additional episodes, bringing the total series order up to two 12-episode seasons. The deal with Amazon will build on the CR team’s initial plan to broadcast the series over the Amazon-owned Twitch.
The CR team has expressed their excitement at the fan support for Vox Machina and their enthusiasm towards the deal with Amazon. In a joint statement, Critical Role’s Sam Riegel and Travis Willingham said that they are “psyched to be able to tell even more stories with not just one, but two 12-episode seasons!” Other cast members from Critical Role and fans of the show took to social media to celebrate the news:
An offhand comment on our baby stream back on Nov of 2015.
Man, what a wild, wild ride. https://t.co/vK3Lp4nU4T
— Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) November 5, 2019
— Amie Johnson (@AmieGJohnson) November 5, 2019
No release date for the first season of Vox Machina has been announced yet, but the show is slated to premiere in late 2020. You can watch archived Critical Role videos on Youtube and live broadcasts on Twitch. The most recent episode is below, as is a special one-shot episode that was published as a bonus perk of the Kickstarter.