The first act of Riot’s animated series for League of Legends, Arcane, has been met with popularity. According to a tweet by League Charts, Arcane has debuted at #1 on Netflix’s TV Shows Chart, overtaking “Squid Game”. On TV charts website FlixPatrol, it has also debuted at #1 in 38 countries. The news comes less than two months after Squid Game — the series hailed as Netflix's "biggest-ever series at launch," — was released.
The series has been especially popular in China. The series “premiered to an overwhelmingly positive response, garnering 130 million views in China within a few hours and becoming the most searched item on Tencent’s streaming site,” Bloomberg reports.
The show was announced to celebrate League of Legends’ 10-year anniversary — the goal being to retell the origin stories of several of the characters found within the game. The series has been noted for its high-quality animation and strong voice acting, featuring talent such as Hailee Steinfeld, Ella Purnell, and Kevin Alejandro. Animation was handled by French studio Fortiche Production.
The series had a strong marketing push. Strategies included promotional events in Riot titles, collaborations with other games such as PUBG Mobile and Fortnite, as well as a live premiere and advertisement campaign in Los Angeles. The first episode was streamed on Twitch, with Riot allowing many content creators to co-stream the first episodes of the series.
It is not the first example of a major PC game developer expanding their IP into streaming. Arcane comes just a few months after the release of Valve’s own animated series, Dota: Dragon's Blood. So far Arcane has received overall stronger reviews — for example, IMDb giving the series a 9.4/10 compared to an 8/10 for Dota: Dragon’s Blood.
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