Arcane: Bridging the Rift Arcane: Bridging the Rift

Riot Games has released the first of five episodes in its new Youtube docuseries Arcane: Bridging the Rift, which details the trajectory of Netflix’s creative marvel Arcane from the first pitch meeting through the final touches.

Watch Part 1 below:

Yearning for deeper storytelling, and having already created a rich world full of dynamic characters with the League of Legends video game that inspired the series, Arcane creators Christian Linke and Alex Yee put their heads together and came up with a pitch for a new idea.

“I just always had this sense of obligation to the players,” says Yee in episode one. “It just felt like we created these characters and the players answered us by spending so much time with them and loving them, and it just felt like they deserved to have better stories.”

However, as the two explain further, even a great idea can take some convincing to get off the ground.

The behind-the-scenes series interviews key players at Riot, including founders Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill. The series also speaks with the multitude of creative leaders at Fortiche, the innovative Paris-headquartered animation studio behind Arcane’s groundbreaking blended technique and the resulting one-of-a-kind look.

Titled “Part 1 – I Only Dream in Risky,” the first episode features Linke and Yee speaking about how they their project off the ground at Riot. In the video, we also hear from both teams about the process of pushing boundaries of the collaborative workflow with Fortiche, shifting from short music video collaborations to a full-blown animated series, and their concerns about adapting one of the world’s most popular video games as a series.

“We knew Arcane was gonna be the very first deep story expression of League of Legends. There are enough video games where the audience asks for a movie or a show for years and years, and then they make it and it sucks. And then guess what? People stop asking,” says Linke. “We were afraid of that, if we made something that isn’t at least good, then we’re really harming the League IP.”

It’s safe to say that the Riot and Fortiche teams avoided that pitfall – and they’ve been rewarded by both fans and their colleagues. The series was not only the most in-demand animated series on streaming over the first half of 2022, but it is also currently nominated for two Emmy awards, including best animated program.

New episodes in the docuseries will be released weekly on Thursdays at 8am PST/11am EST.