Riot Games is developing its first television series based on its smash hit video game franchise, League of Legends.
The animated series will be titled Arcane and will be produced internally by Riot and animated by the Parisian animation studio, Fortiche Productions. The move has been hailed as a ‘big and exciting endeavour’ for the League of Legends franchise.
Riot Games first propelled onto the gaming scene in 2009 when the independent Los Angeles studio launched its League of Legends game to the masses. Over the past ten years, League of Legends has grown into one of the world’s most profitable game franchises, boasting more than 100 million active monthly players today.
The IP has also spawned two professional esports leagues, a number of annual tournaments and attained more than $1.4 billion in global revenue last year.
Now entering its tenth year, Riot is expanding beyond the world of video gaming, building the League of Legends franchise across mobile gaming, digital trading card games, new shooter titles, and a planned animated TV series.
“This is a big moment for Riot because milestone anniversaries are a time to look back and reflect,” said Marc Merrill, co-founder of Riot Games in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re trying to do that in a way that helps our audience to reflect the journey we’ve gone through together.”
The animated series will utilise the deep lore surrounding the many characters found in League of Legends, a game that while it doesn’t strictly follow a story arc itself, has managed to build character backstories and personalities through periodically launched animated trailers.
“Arcane is one of these big, exciting endeavours for us,” said Brandon Beck, co-founder of Riot Games. “Originally, League started off with a bunch of characters and we threw them together really quickly. Over time, players became really attached to the characters and we wanted to build more of a universe around them.
“We have been, over the last few years, experimenting with what longer-form epic storytelling can look like. Animation felt like a natural way for us to deliver a fantastical world.”
Arcane will be aimed at an audience of 14 and upwards and will reportedly deal with some more adult subject matter. The show is slated to debut in 2020.