Critical Role Makes First Entertainment Acquisition, Buying Sci-Fi Podcast Midst From Its Three Anonymous Founders
Critical Role, the company that adapted its popular and long-running Dungeons & Dragons livestreamed campaigns into animated series “The Legend of Vox Machina” on Prime Video, has made its first acquisition.
Metapigeon, Critical Role’s development and production company, announced the acquisition of podcast “Midst,” described as a semi-improvised audio drama. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
As part of the acquisition, Metapigeon is teaming with Third Person, the podcast’s three founders who also narrate and produce the series, to continue to expand the “Midst” brand. According to a rep for Critical Role, the podcast’s founders are preferring to remain anonymous.
“Midst” is set in the “space-western” town of Stationary Hill, on the desert planet of Midst, and follows three protagonists – a crotchety outlaw, a struggling cultist and a diabolical bastard – as their paths intersect in unexpected ways. The story is told by “three unreliable, playfully omniscient and fully anonymous narrators” who voice all of the characters in a “turbulent, present-tense, stream-of-consciousness style,” according to Critical Role.
With the acquisition, Critical Role will rerelease the first two seasons of “Midst” featuring remastered audio and a new video version of each episode. Each episode features at least one original artwork from artists including Ricardo Bessa, Lenka Simeckova, Sam Bosma, Artem Chebokha, Lap Pun Cheung and Will Kirkby.
Critical Role said additional seasons of “Midst” are in the works.
“As part of our ongoing effort to expand the types of narratives we share and elevate new storytellers, we remain focused on exploring diverse IP in a multitude of mediums,” Ben Van Der Fluit, Critical Role’s SVP of business and content development, said in announcing the deal. “Working with the narrators of ‘Midst’ has been a dream – we’re such fans of the world they have built, and we look forward to continuing to empower their creative dreams.”
The unnamed founders of “Midst” commented, “In lieu of the trumpet and explosion emojis that would be the truest expression of our feelings, we can say with full sincerity that we are over the moon to have found partners with such phenomenal passion and talent for creative multimedia storytelling. Critical Role and Metapigeon are enabling us to bring ‘Midst’ to life in ways we never imagined possible, and we can’t wait to share what’s in store with fans both old and new.”
The first three episodes of the newly remastered “Midst” series are set to be released for free on April 11, 12 and 13, repsectively, on Critical Role’s YouTube channel along with animated artwork tied to each episode. The episodes also will be available in audio format via Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Future episodes will release weekly on Wednesdays at 5 a.m. PT.
Subscribers who sign up via the “Midst” website (midst.co) for either $2.99/month or $29.99/year will gain access to the first five episodes on April 11, as well as future episodes two weeks in advance. The subscription features an ad-free experience and access to bonus content around each episode, such as documents, items and artifacts from the world of the story.
Critical Role started in 2012 as a private D&D game-night among a group of friends in L.A. who are all voice actors. Since then, it has branched into multiple lines of business, including “The Legend of Vox Machina” on Prime Video, which has run for two seasons with a third in production. Earlier this year Critical Role inked a multiyear exclusive overall TV and first-look film deal with Amazon Studios and announced “Mighty Nein,” based on CR’s second campaign, as the first new series to be produced under the agreement.
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