After the film “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” became a hit, topping $200 million at the worldwide box office, Hasbro wants more. Hasbro-owned production company eOne announced Thursday that it is launching a new free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channel dedicated to the widely popular role-playing tabletop game. Variety was the first to cover the announcement.
The Dungeons & Dragons Adventures is a 24-hour FAST channel set to launch this summer. It will feature original programming based on campaigns played by content creators, third-party content from top influencers as well as older stuff like the 1983 animated Dungeons & Dragons series.
Shows coming to the new channel include:Encounter Party: based on the podcast of the same name, the show features six members, including “The Walking Dead” star Khary Payton. The campaign occurs in the Forgotten Realms, a common setting in the game. Faster, Purple Worm! Kill! Kill!: variety improv show where special guests and celebrities act out as first-level players in battles against high-level monsters and beasts. The series was co-created by actor Matthew Lillard, mainly known for his role as Shaggy in the 2002 live-action “Scooby-Doo” movie. Heroes’ Feast: cooking competition/talk show based on the recipes of the bestselling cookbook, Heroes’ Feast. The show is co-hosted by “Insecure” actress Sujata Day and chef and internet personality Mike Haracz.
Hasbro said the Dungeons & Dragons Adventures FAST channel will live on several platforms, but the company hasn’t established any deals yet for which specifically, reported Variety.
Dungeons & Dragons made a massive comeback in recent years and is more mainstream nowadays. This is thanks to the many content creators that host livestreams featuring creative storytelling and impressive dice rolls.
For instance, “Critical Role,” a weekly show featuring a group of voice actors, has gone on to make millions, signing multiyear deals with Amazon to produce TV series based on its two campaigns, “Vox Machina” and “Mighty Nein.”
It’s nice to see more content creators — like “Encounter Party,” which arguably has less recognition than a high-paying channel like “Critical Role”– get a platform to showcase their collaborative stories. However, we’re curious whether the shows will draw a large audience.
The FAST market may be booming, but viewers mainly use the services to watch old movies and shows like episodes of “The Twilight Zone” or “Teen Mom.” Is the FAST space an optimal place for Dungeons & Dragons content? We’re not sure.
Also, it will be interesting to see what other content creators appear on the new channel, given the backlash from fans earlier this year.
In January, Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast (WoTC) received backlash for updating its Open Gaming License, which appeared to threaten creators’ livelihoods.
Shortly after the protests, however, WoTC announced that it is licensing the game’s core mechanics under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license, allowing everyone to publish and sell works based on Dungeons & Dragons. (Hooray!)
While the issue has been resolved, content creators may still be wary of partnering with WoTC.
Either way, the Dungeons & Dragons Adventures FAST channel is certainly a fascinating move on WoTC’s part, and it might be a pleasant surprise for fans.
Or it could flop. Who knows?