RIOT GAMES, Los Angeles / RIOT GAMES / 2022

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Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

The release of Riot Games’ groundbreaking animated series, Arcane, offered an opportunity to redefine brand experience & activations, launched through the lens of gaming.

Under the banner of RiotX Arcane, Riot connected gaming with immersive experiential storytelling over the show’s three week debut. With a first-of-its kind, globally co-streamed watch party, traveling pop-up expos that brought the show’s technology to life, and an immersive, finale experience that brought players into an exact replica of the seedy undercity of Zaun, this experience was meticulously crafted to inspire audiences, paying off a decade of shared fandom.


League of Legends is one of the biggest games in the world, but in entering a new market of entertainment, Riot Games faced challenges bringing its IP to entertainment, including overcoming a niche audience of animation fans, unproven product and tons of competition for viewers’ attention.

To overcome these challenges and introduce Season 1 of Arcane in a way that would pay off a decade of dedicated fandom from players, Riot sought to challenge the norms of entertainment launches that focus primarily on driving viewership at launch to craft a multi-week, global campaign that would inspire ongoing tune-in and social hype from start to finish.

Taking inspiration from gaming, Riot developed RiotX Arcane; a connected brand experience spanning across digital broadcast, games, and immersive in-person events designed to captivate with creative content that evolved and escalated along with the narrative acts of the show to offer a one-of-a-kind experience.

Describe the creative idea

The brand experience and activations spanned over three weeks.

Act #1: World Premiere

Arcane’s premiere was a first-of-its kind, globally co-streamed watch party with notable Twitch influencers and show talent, offering fans a way to experience the premiere for free, together with their communities. For those who could not make the live moment, rebroadcasts and in-game content offered additional opportunities to celebrate and experience the premiere.

Act #2: Progress Days

In the following week, Riot inspired ongoing conversation and content from fans and creators, multi-city, traveling pop up ‘expos’ with interactive AR displays brought the technology of the show to life, evolving to hint at what was coming next.

Act #3: Undercity Nights

Building anticipation and hype for the show’s Season 1 finale, global content creators and fans were invited to an experiential Arcane-themed gamer's paradise, complete with a screening room and gaming cafe, all streamed live on Twitch.

Describe the strategy

Riot Games mobilized all teams across its worldwide studios to bring Arcane to market in a way that transformed the standard TV series launch into a globally connected celebration for its players.

Riot hyper-served its target audience of League of Legends fans, counting on its evangelists to create a massive conversation volume that would help it reach new fans and broader entertainment audiences.

For the broader gaming industry, Riot brought its characters to other popular games like Fortnite, for the first time. To help its players celebrate fandom in other aspects of their lives, Riot partnered with Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, its first global beauty partner, to curate beauty looks in its games and entertainment projects. Riot also partnered with Spinmaster to sell Arcane themed toys in Target stores, and hosted a Disneyland-like live experience immersing fans into the world of Arcane via a partnership with Secret Cinema.

Describe the execution

The brand experience and activation spanned over the course of three weeks, served three ways.

Act #1: World Premiere

To globally premiere the show, Riot transformed every part of its LA campus to bring the world of Arcane to life, complete with a 70-foot tall, geodesic dome housing over thirty projectors that provided a 360-degree creative viewing extension of the show, providing a first-of-its-kind interactive viewing experience.

The world premiere was simultaneously co-streamed with influencers on Twitch as it was released globally on Netflix, a first for the streaming platform.

Act #2: Progress Days

Moving into the show’s second act, augmented reality interactive ‘Hextech Expo’ storefronts rolled out across six key cities, bringing the magical technology of Arcane to fans around the world.

Act #3: Undercity Nights

Riot invited players and influencers to a 20,000ft sprawling replica of the Undercity of Zaun to experience an immersive weekend of gaming.

List the results

Fan response to these these immersive experiences shattered records across viewership and online engagement. In addition to hitting the #1 spot on Netflix’s Top 10 charts in over 50 countries, it received a rare 100% critic score and 96% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, a record for any Netflix show, and swept the Annie Awards, winning all of its nine nominations.

Over 10 million total hours of Arcane content was viewed on Twitch across Premiere and Undercity Nights events. Related social content drove over 130 million views on owned channels and user generated content drove a staggering 2 billion+ views on TikTok alone.

This resulted in 3+ billion hours of games played in November 2021, over three times the average hours played by an American gamer. It is the equivalent of every American playing Riot's games for 9 hours, or the entire global population playing Riot's games for 22.7

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