During NYCC 2022 last weekend, Prime Video and Critical Role announced that their animated series The Legend of Vox Machina was getting a third season. A. Third. Season. This opens up so many possibilities. This third season could complete campaign one. It could also mean that we might get the chance to see campaigns two and even three make their way to the animated screen. But this could be so much more than that. And that really got us thinking about what this news means to everyone.
When Critical Role took their show to Geek and Sundry‘s Twitch in 2015, it opened up many doors within the TTRPG world. What once was a site dedicated to streaming video games, the category for live TTRPGs skyrocketed. And while Critical Role may not have been the first on Twitch, it sure did pave the way for future shows. Then in 2018, Matthew Mercer, Marisha Ray, Travis Willingham, Laura Bailey, Liam O’Brien, Taliesin Jaffe, Ashley Johnson and Sam Riegel branched out into their own studio.
And then, through that company, Critical Role kickstarted a short animated series. This gave birth to a partnership with Prime Video, three full seasons, and whatever will come next. So why is this important? What does this all mean? In the Critical Role sphere, it means getting the chance to see the end of Vox Machina’s campaign. And then, if the Prime Video overlords deem us worthy, the Mighty Nein and Bell’s Hells. It could expand even further and provide us with animated series or films depicting origin stories or new tales. Really, the possibilities are endless.
But outside of Critical Role‘s sphere, it means just as much. The series started as a group of nerdy friends, who happened to be voice actors, playing a game of Dungeons and Dragons. And now that they have paved the way, the TTRPG live-play world is ginormous. Any morning/day/night of the week, you are almost guaranteed to find some TTRPG game. Even Wizards of the Coast broadcasts their games on Twitch. Plus, indie companies like Pixel Circus and Hyper RPG put out several shows a week.
And who is to say that any of these series wouldn’t be able to make the jump into other media? Hyper RPG could take their show Kollok 1991 and work alongside a company like Prime Video, Netflix or Hulu to bring us a live-action or animated version of the tale. Or Pixel Circus‘ The Borros Saga: Banesbreak could find that it is being picked up to become a movie. Or, my personal hope is for Into the Mother Lands to get six seasons and a movie! Really, the possibilities are endless. And while many don’t set out to play every TTRPG on Twitch with the idea that it will eventually hit that point, now it seems more believable than ever.
The success of Critical Role and The Legend of Vox Machina could also have fans flowing in a different direction. Those unfamiliar with TTRPGs and who find they love the series might turn to Twitch. And in turn, branching out to explore other TTRPG shows and giving birth to a new generation of players. And the circle will continue on. No matter how you look at it, everyone wins. And no matter what happens, we are excited to be heading down this path and exploring the potential futures of the TTRPG community.
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