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Dimension 20 addresses Madison Square Garden “nonsense”, won’t use dynamic pricing at future live shows

One plan includes a “Dimensioneer ticket” lottery where select fans can purchase fixed-cost tickets.

Promotional art for actual play series Dimension 20's live shows in the UK and Ireland
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Dimension 20 plans to avoid another ticketing situation like the one currently surrounding its Madison Square Garden live show, planned for early 2025. Dropout’s popular Dungeons & Dragons actual play series says it now knows to explicitly avoid dynamic pricing models, which led to some fans paying upwards of $1,500 for a ticket on the same day the show opened its sale.

The statement and action plan went out via Dimension 20’s social media on April 14th, a week after the news broke that dungeon master Brennan Lee Mulligan and his crew of intrepid heroes would perform a one-shot adventure on one of the largest stages in New York City - appropriately revising their characters from The Unsleeping City arcs. According to the statement, the response from fans far exceeded Dimension 20’s most optimistic estimates.

“We expected our live show at Madison Square Garden to go roughly the same, just on a bigger scale - given we were punching so high above our weight class, we would have to work pretty hard to fill the Garden. After all, it was Madison Square Garden. We had misjudged the situation, to say the least,” the statement read.

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Tickets for the Madison Square Garden show sold lightning quick, triggering a response from ticketing technology partner Live Nation Entertainment - itself an organ within the much maligned Ticketmaster. Dynamic Pricing - also known as surge pricing - kicked in on a preselected portion of Platinum Tickets whose price fluctuates to meet fan demand. It’s an ostensible founding tenant of capitalist markets (supply price rises to meet demand) that squeezed hundreds of extra dollars each from fans desperate to see their favourite actual play performers on its biggest stage yet. Backlash, confusion and criticism quickly spread amongst forums, subreddits and Twitter threads.

“Dynamic Pricing/Platinum Tickets had not been something explained to us, nor something presented as something we had the ability to opt out of - once we had a better understanding of the situation as a group, we communicated to Live Nation that it was our desire to opt out of all dynamic pricing tickets for this event & for all events going forward,” Dimension 20 explained in its statement. While the average cost of all tickets still averaged just about $120, Dropout said it understood that ticket cost is just one consideration amongst travel and other expenses.

All future Dropout live shows will expressly opt out of dynamic pricing options, and Dimension 20 will experiment with a “Dimensioneer Ticket” lottery that allows select fans the chance to purchase a maximum of two tickets pulled from any seat in the venue at a fixed $35, each. Additionally, Dropout will add a recording of the Madison Square Garden show to its website and app that subscribers can watch at their leisure and from their couches, skipping the flights to JFK and fighting NYC crowds.

Dimension 20 ended the statement by saying that “the journey of Dropout” and its smash hit tabletop actual play has been a sequence of “trying a bunch of stuff, figuring out what works, and doing it better the next time around.” It’s certainly true that its explosive success and rise to rival Critical Role has been a series of firsts, mirroring actual play’s own sometimes awkward break into the public eye. The company is at least taking responsibility where it can and leaning too hard on a performative “just a group of friends playing tabletop RPGs” mentality.

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