Critical Role Critical Role's Kickstarter Breaks $1,000,000 In About An Hour!

For those hoping for a new D&D cartoon, Critical Role has just launched a Kickstarter for an animated show based on their livestream campaign. It broke a million dollars in about an hour, and has 45 days left to go...

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"Critical Role's The Legend of Vox Machina reunites your favorite D&D heroes for a professional-quality animated special!"

Also on offer are theme song MP3s, production art prints, sticker sets, dice, playing card sets, plushies, pin sets, canvas bags, and more.
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Reynard

Legend
Forbes has done a few D&D articles over the last few years. If you google “Forbes D&D” you’ll find loads of them. This hobby is mainstream now!
Wait, does this mean I have to hate it now? Or just make sure everyone knows I was into before it was cool?
 




$8,839,918 pledged of $750,000 goal
64,955 backers
14 days to go

"Final" goal achieved.

(EDIT: It went up $7,000 (50 backers. yes 65,008) in the couple minutes since I did the cut paste and typed the above until now.)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
The Critical Role Kickstarter just became the 7th highest funded project in Kickstarter history, beating Exploding Kittens. They are projected to end in the Top 4 by the time the project ends. This is crazy.
 

kenmarable

Adventurer
The Critical Role Kickstarter just became the 7th highest funded project in Kickstarter history, beating Exploding Kittens. They are projected to end in the Top 4 by the time the project ends. This is crazy.

Even more crazy is the community around this. It definitely goes to show how, even at a different scale, building a community *first* and then crowdfunding can work wonders.

I have been checking Kicktraq each morning, and they had leveled out at $40-60K per day (which itself is amazing!) for weeks and were on target to reach their last stretch goal in a week or so. But I had missed the #critterpush online discussion. If you missed it, too, the community decided to wait until the next episode and during the stream pledge if you hadn't or add $5 to your pledge if you had.

The result was going from $40-60,000 per day pretty reliably to $266,000 yesterday and another $140,000 so far today (and at least half of the today was in the first hour of the day Eastern time when people were pledging during the break)!!! So it was a 10x increase in pledges that, as far as I can tell, was entirely community lead.

There is definitely a very large community, but probably more importantly, a very passionate and excited community! Amazing!
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Even more crazy is the community around this. It definitely goes to show how, even at a different scale, building a community *first* and then crowdfunding can work wonders

....

There is definitely a very large community, but probably more importantly, a very passionate and excited community! Amazing!
And the Critter fan club isn't just dumping money into this one single Kickstarter, either. In the Vox Machina Kickstarter comment section, people began posting links to other, smaller projects that are struggling to hit their goals, and the Critter legion responded by funding them. (While this is normally frowned upon for obvious reasons, the Critical Role team actively encouraged their fans to do so.)

As a result, the Critical Core RPG (game) was funded by Critters in 1 day after Matt tweeted about it. The Explorers of Azullucent (a fantasy novel) was funded at the very last minute by Critters when it looked like they weren't going to meet their goal. Witch+Craft (5E supplement), Humblewood (5E campaign setting), Strowlers (a TV series, short film, and novel), Manifest (Sci-Fi Western), Absconding (an indie gaming e-zine)...the list goes on...all were funded in part by Critters, who left their mark in the comment sections.

It's crazy, in all the best ways.
 

Tiles

Explorer
I do not understand how they gave up on stretch goals with two weeks left. The final push alone could produce MILLIONS. Even if no more episodes, you could add a cosplay special game or guests on the show, something for the wild critters to shoot for. They seem to love to smash goals and could easily run up the final total if properly motivated.
 

dave2008

Legend
I do not understand how they gave up on stretch goals with two weeks left. The final push alone could produce MILLIONS. Even if no more episodes, you could add a cosplay special game or guests on the show, something for the wild critters to shoot for. They seem to love to smash goals and could easily run up the final total if properly motivated.

The probably don't want to promise more than they can deliver.
 

kenmarable

Adventurer
The probably don't want to promise more than they can deliver.

Exactly! One of the #1 biggest ways for a Kickstarter to crash and burn is trying to run up the final total by promising excessive stretch goals. It's to the point where I'm wary of any RPG Kickstarter that has a lot of stretch goals. Overpromising and underdelivering (or never delivering at all) is far too common in crowdfunding. I'm sure most people on this thread could name several highly successful Kickstarters that stretched too far and wound up delivering pretty much nothing at all.

Having a highly successful Kickstarter not overpromise (and possibly even decide to underpromise and maybe overdeliver) is a welcome change.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Look at 7th Sea, a previous record holder. Getting the highest “score” isn’t the goal. Stacking on more and more obligations can prove detrimental.
 

jgsugden

Legend
There are a lot of things they could promise as stretch goals that have nothing to do with the animation. Every $50K is a pie in Matt's face. Sam and Liam's Sax tape gets released at $10M. Personally, I'd enjoy seeing the play a game of Paranoia, seeing them do the Star Trek Mirror Universe versions of Vox Machina in a one shot, and return to Crash Pandas.

They could get the company that did the miniature kickstarter to do something, as well.

And - they could announce that the funding will go to a Season 2.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
There are a lot of things they could promise as stretch goals that have nothing to do with the animation. Every $50K is a pie in Matt's face. Sam and Liam's Sax tape gets released at $10M. Personally, I'd enjoy seeing the play a game of Paranoia, seeing them do the Star Trek Mirror Universe versions of Vox Machina in a one shot, and return to Crash Pandas.

They could get the company that did the miniature kickstarter to do something, as well.

And - they could announce that the funding will go to a Season 2.

They could. And suddenly they have double the work to do. And in four years, people are getting angry.

It’s easy to come up with ideas for stretch goal, until you realise you’re working solidly for the next 10 years to produce them, clawing after that final KS “score” as though it itself is the goal.

It’s why I don’t do stretch goals on my Kickstarters. Sure, I get a lower total; but I also fulfill the Kickstarter and then move on. No chance of 7th Sea happening.

The biggest mistake a KS creator (or, indeed, backer) can make is to believe the biggest final total is the goal.
 

Tiles

Explorer
Isn’t it a stated goal to raise as much as possible to fund the overall quality of the project? Just setting up a LARP or a special episode as a stretch goal seems low investment and sets targets for the above stated goal. Raise as much as possible. Throwing a bunch of random swag and bobbles isn’t needed. Learn from the past. But playing a game shouldn’t blow the whole thing up.
 


kenmarable

Adventurer
Isn’t it a stated goal to raise as much as possible to fund the overall quality of the project? Just setting up a LARP or a special episode as a stretch goal seems low investment and sets targets for the above stated goal. Raise as much as possible. Throwing a bunch of random swag and bobbles isn’t needed. Learn from the past. But playing a game shouldn’t blow the whole thing up.

Aren't they already at 5 extra one-shots? And producing a 10 episode animated series (which they have never done before)? While making a weekly show (looks like about 47 or 48 weeks out of the year)? And several other smaller shows? While doing all of this under their own business with everything that involves (accounting, taxes, payroll, blah blah)? AND working other acting and directing jobs during the day?

Another one-shot isn't "Let's just get together Friday and film a game." Each is a show with planning, crew, filming, now handling captioning, etc.

I would absolutely LOVE more content from them. But at some point, they only have so much time to spare on this, and I wouldn't want to start getting low quality content just so that they could drive up the Kickstarter.

Bottom line, however, is that they have been very successful so far and seem to know what they are doing. So I trust them that if they want to do more stretch goals, they have thought and planned and believe they are capable. If they say they are not doing any more stretch goals, I trust them that they know their limits. Crowdfunding or not, history is littered with the corpses of "successful" businesses that didn't know their own limits. :)
 

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