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Critical Role’s new Beacon service is only for superfans

The new subscription service promises exclusive shows, early access to content, store discounts, and pre-sales for live DnD event tickets.

Screenshot from Critical Role, blue haired Talesin falls backwards through glass into a void

On Thursday, actual play DnD video channel Critical Role announced a new membership subscription service, Critical Role Beacon, which offers fans exclusive content and early access to some products. But though it’s a premium service attached to a big name in digital DnD, don’t expect something like Dimension 20’s Dropout TV – this one’s for superfans only.

A YouTube announcement by Matthew Mercer, Marisha Ray, and Travis Willingham (embedded below) states that Beacon isn’t going to replace Twitch and YouTube as the home of Critical Role’s DnD actual play series. “You will still be able to watch and listen freely with the same release schedule that it has always been”, says CEO Willingham.

YouTube Thumbnail

So if Beacon isn’t going to be the new home for Critical Role’s programming, what is it? A members scheme with a variety of benefits for subscribers. The launch offering will consist of:

  • Access to a moderated Beacon Discord community
  • An exclusive live fireside chat series with cast members answering questions sourced from the Beacon Discord, which launches with Matt Mercer on May 21.
  • Critical Role Cooldown, a behind the scenes post show that will drop on Thursdays after episodes of Critical Role.
  • Early access to edited Critical Role Abridged VODs and the Re-Slayer’s Take podcast.
  • Early access to buy tickets for Critical Role live shows: tickets for the Bells Hells LIVE show at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, June 15, will be available to Beacon members from 10am PST / 1pm EST on May 20, one day early.
  • 10% discount on Critical Role books, t-shirts, and other merch in the official Critical Role stores.

Critical Role Beacon will be available via web browser and Android app, with an iOS app reportedly in the works. Beacon will cost $5.99 per month, or $59.99 per year, the same as a Dropout TV subscription; Dropout TV gets you access to all of Dimension 20, and an awful lot of improv comedy besides.

Logo for Critcial Role Cooldown aftershow discussion

In a vacuum, Dropout TV is better value for money. But with so much Critical Role content available for free on YouTube and Twitch, there are a lot of Critical Role fans out there. If you’re squirming with impatience while you wait for the Legend of Vox Machina season 3 release date, have already played through all the official Exandria DnD campaigns, and really want to ask Matt Mercer some questions, Beacon might just be worth it for you.

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