“Arcane is a story of duality,” says series co-creator Alex Yee. “How characters become divided across two halves of a city with values and opportunities that are opposite but complementary. Each with their own merits and flaws. You may be the hero in your story, but the villain in someone else’s.”
Per Riot’s description:
Arcane dives into the delicate balance between the rich city of Piltover and the seedy underbelly of Zaun. Known across Runeterra as the “city of progress,” many of the most brilliant minds call these cities home. But the creation of hextech, a way for any person to control magical energy, threatens that balance.
The game maker says that the series is “designed to stand on its own,” but the trailer suggests that without existing knowledge of League of Legends, Arcane could be a perplexing, frustrating experience for viewers.
But its potential inaccessibility to newcomers is unlikely to be a concern for either Netflix or Riot, since League of Legends is the most-watched video game in the world. The game’s annual championship tournament has drawn over 100 million online viewers in past years, and its 2020 tournament topped out at 46 million concurrent viewers. If even half that many people watch the Netflix premiere, it would be a huge win for the streamer.
Arcane was developed internally and independently financed at Riot, and the animation production was handled by Paris-based Fortiche, which has previously created similar-looking animation for League of Legends.
Arcane’s English language voice cast features Hailee Steinfeld (Vi), Katie Leung (Caitlyn), Kevin Alejandro (Jayce), Jason Spisak (Silco), Ella Purnell (Jinx), Toks Olagundoye (Mel), J.B Blanc (Vander), and Harry Lloyd (Viktor).