Critical Role’s second campaign will get its own Amazon animated series • TechCrunch
Amazon is deepening its ties to hit the Dungeons & Dragons real-life game series Critical Role, striking a multi-year deal with the growing role-playing content empire that will see any new adaptations spring up under the Amazon Studios umbrella.
The company will also bring Critical Role’s second campaign to life, starring the ragtag whimsical group of reluctant adventurers known as “Mighty Nein” in their own animated series. The second campaign adaptation will begin production soon, but there is no firm release date yet.
Under the terms of the deal, Amazon will get first-look rights to any film adaptation of Critical Role’s sprawling original fantasy world, crafted by dungeon master Matt Mercer. Episodes of Critical Role have hit the big screen before – including the animated Season 3 debut of “Vox Machina” and a two-part live special that served as the epilogue for the second campaign, which ends in 2021 – but to date, Critical Role has yet to produce a feature film adaptation.
“With the success of our animated series ‘The Legend of Vox Machina,’ we look forward to continuing our relationship with Critical Role and expanding its universe with ‘Mighty Nein,’” said Vernon Sanders, Head of Global Television at Amazon Studios. “Expanding these iconic franchises for our global Prime Video customers continues to be an ambitious and rewarding journey and we can’t wait to see where this new series takes us.”
As far as adaptations go, Critical Role is pretty safe territory for the tech giant’s experiments in original content. The show, which airs weekly on Twitch, boasts a famously engaged community that buys its books and products, celebrating the group’s creative endeavors in whatever form they take. According to Twitch data that leaked in 2021, Critical Role was the highest paid streamer on the platform, with the long-running D&D real game show beating even the most popular professional gaming personalities.
Critical Role’s second campaign could also attract new fans to the franchise. While the group’s first campaign followed a more traditional fantasy trajectory – hero archetypes, dragons, etc. – the “Mighty Nein” campaign features more eccentric characters and a sometimes subtle exploration of political intrigue and spirituality in a fantasy world that often defies expectations.
Critical Role, which started as a casual family game among friends from the voice acting community, grew into an entertainment giant within a few years. Amazon picked up Critical Role’s first campaign, “The Legend of Vox Machina,” in 2019 after the role-playing team broke Kickstarter records by raising $11.3 million for an anime adaptation. The second season of “The Legend of Vox Machina” debuted on Prime Video this month, and Amazon Studios ordered a third season of the show last year.