After the movie “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” became a hit and grossed more than $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 channel (FAST) dedicated to the widely popular role-playing game. Variety was the first to report on the announcement.
The Dungeons & Dragons Adventures is a 24-hour FAST channel launching 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:
- Meeting party: Based on the podcast of the same name, the show has six members, including ‘The Walking Dead’ star Khary Payton. The campaign takes place in the Forgotten Realms, a common setting in the game.
- Faster, purple worm! Kill! Kill!: Variety improv show in which special guests and celebrities act as first-line players in battles against high-level monsters and beasts. The series was co-created by actor Matthew Lillard, best known for his role as Shaggy in the 2002 live-action film “Scooby-Doo”.
- Hero party: cooking competition/talk show based on the recipes from the best-selling 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 appear on several platforms, but the company hasn’t closed any deals that Variety specifically reported on yet.
Dungeons & Dragons has made a huge comeback in recent years and is more mainstream these days. This is thanks to the many content creators who host live streams with creative stories and impressive dice.
For example, ‘Critical Role’, a weekly show featuring a group of voice actors, has made millions and signed multi-year 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 has arguably less recognition than a high-paying show like “Critical Role” — getting a platform to showcase their collective stories. However, we are curious whether the shows will attract a large audience.
The FAST market may be booming, but viewers mainly use the services to watch old movies and shows, such as episodes of “The Twilight Zone” or “Teen Mom.” Is the FAST room an optimal place for Dungeons & Dragons content? We’re not sure.
It will also 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 the 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 anyone to publish and sell works based on Dungeons & Dragons. (Hurrah!)
While the issue has been resolved, content creators may still be wary of partnering with WoTC.
Either way, Dungeons & Dragons Adventures’ FAST channel is certainly a fascinating move from WoTC, and it may come as a pleasant surprise to fans.
Or it could flop. Who knows?