The news: Riot Games is rolling out a cross-platform premiere for its “Arcane” animated series, a Netflix-exclusive show based on characters from its popular video game “League of Legends.”
- The show will debut live on November 6 on the company’s Twitch channel following the League of Legends World Championship finals.
- Viewers who tune in can receive unique items like cosmetics related to the series across Riot’s various games.
Why it’s worth watching: Netflix released exclusive shows based on video games before, such as “The Witcher” and “Castlevania,” but these are often divorced from the games they are adapted from.
- Riot, on the other hand, is heavily positioning this launch as a major event called “RiotX Arcane” tied to nearly all of its games and media operations; in the company’s words, it’s a “cross-media collision of everything Riot has to offer.”
- Just as major media companies like Disney often cross-promote upcoming films on late-night talk shows under their umbrella, Riot is promoting “Arcane” in all of its current titles—even in games with few or no ties to the characters featured in “Arcane.”
- The company is also leaning into the fandoms that have formed online around its games, which are frequently among the most viewed on Twitch. Streamers will be allowed to co-stream the premiere to their communities on their own channels.
The bigger picture: The line between video game property and traditional media property is starting to blur, with more and more games receiving TV and film adaptations and vice versa.
- Riot’s rollout of “Arcane” takes things a step further, promoting the show across its own games and popular streaming platforms in ways that are culture-conscious.