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Critical Role’s Crowdfunding Campaign for Animated D&D Special Raises $2 Million in Under Four Hours

A project from Critical Role billed as “‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ meets Dungeons & Dragons” has smashed Kickstarter crowdfunding records for a campaign of its size — raising more than $2 million in less than four hours.

Critical Role, a popular D&D role-playing game that live-streams new episodes weekly on Twitch, teamed with animation studio Titmouse for animated special “The Legend of Vox Machina,” based on Critical Role’s first campaign.

The campaign, which launched Monday (March 4) at 10 a.m. PT, reached $1 million in less than an hour, exceeding its baseline $750,000 goal. By 1:25 p.m. PT, it had reached $2 million — and counting. The campaign on Kickstarter (at this link) is set to run 45 days. “The Legend of Vox Machina” campaign currently has more than 15,000 contributors.

[UPDATE #1: The Critical Role campaign hit $3 million raised from 21,304 backers Monday at 5:20 p.m. PT.]

[UPDATE #2: The $4 million mark was hit around 4:40 a.m. PT on Tuesday, from 30,000 contributors.]

The animated special is planned to be released in the fall of 2020, and Kickstarter contributors are slated to get rewards in May 2020. Contributors are promised a range of perks depending on their funding level.

According to Critical Role, the 22-minute adult action-comedy special will be set in Exandria, the fantasy universe of the show, and will star characters from Critical Role. As higher funding levels are met, “add ons” will be made to the 22-minute segment.

Critical Role partnered with Titmouse, the studio behind such shows as Netflix’s “Big Mouth,” Adult Swim’s “Venture Bros.” and “Metalocalypse,” and Disney’s “Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures,” to create the animation. Jennifer Muro (“Justice League Action,” “Star Wars Forces of Destiny”) has signed on to write the special.

Critical Role is led by veteran Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer, whose voice acting credits include “Attack on Titan,” “Fate/Zero,” the “Resident Evil” series, “Titanfall 2,” “Overwatch,” and “Fallout 4.”

Originally, Critical Role launched its show in 2015 with Legendary Digital Networks’ Geek & Sundry, before moving to its own studio last summer and officially splitting from Geek & Sundry and Legendary Digital Networks last month. New live streams and on-demand replays of Critical Role are available exclusively on Critical Role’s own channels.

Meanwhile, last Friday, Legendary announced that the Alpha subscription-streaming service — which had offered episodes of “Critical Role” — will shut down as of March 31.

In “The Legend of Vox Machina,” the band of seven loners, while drunk, accidentally save the town’s ruler and are given their first “grown-up” mission, which forces them to live together and pits them against dangerous and legendary beasts — eventually transforming them into a band of adventurers called Vox Machina. “They will become heroes… if they don’t murder each other first,” the special’s description reads.

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