How Riot Games topped the Netflix charts by bringing fantasy into reality

The video game developer needed to go beyond a simple stunt to engage League of Legends fans with the launch of its new animated Netflix series.

Riot Games MW Awards
Source: Riot Games

Video game publisher Riot Games decided to branch out into entertainment with the launch of animated Netflix series Arcane, based on its League of Legends franchise. Keen to engage the loyal fanbase for the PC game, Riot Games knew any campaign designed to appeal to these hardcore fans would need to go beyond a mere stunt.

The company teamed up with agency We Are Collider on a four-week experiential campaign exploring the narrative of the fantasy world. Kicking off with a takeover of the world’s tallest building – Dubai’s Burj Khalifa – the team produced a three-minute film using series content hacked by Jinx, Arcane’s main protagonist. Footage was posted on the League of Legends YouTube channel.

Next, Riot Games took over retail spaces in six cities worldwide to create ‘Hextech Expo’ stores, lifting a key story strand from the series – the advancement of Hex crystal tech.

Interactive windows invited visitors to stabilise a Hex Crystal via their smartphones and teased store content. On the night before the VIP store openings the Hex technology was stolen, leaving a trail of destruction. Breaking news style content was posted across owned social channels, inviting the community to speculate about the culprit.

The hype created helped Arcane achieve 34 million series views in six days and top the Netflix charts in 52 countries.

Almost half (49%) of League of Legends players had seen or heard of the campaign, while there were 144.3 million engagements globally with content on owned channels, helping Riot Games win the Marketing Week Award for Branded Experiences and Events.