Netflix’s Arcane, a League of Legends prequel, is the streaming giant’s latest video game adaptation to take the world by storm, lending credence to Netflix’s long term gaming strategy and highlighting the success of their partnership with Riot Games.
As of November 21, Arcane - which has already been renewed for a second season - was the third most in-demand series in the world across all platforms. Globally, Arcane had 67.1x more demand than the average show worldwide, trailing only Amazon Prime Video’s The Wheel of Time (74.8x) and HBO’s Game of Thrones (70.7x).
Audience demand for the show has grown exponentially since it debuted - up 629% with global audiences and 228% with American audiences between its debut on November 6 to November 21, the last day of data available for this analysis.
Its hybrid release schedule - dropping batches of three episodes each on the last three Saturdays - has successfully built demand for the show over time, in contrast to most Netflix series which are binge released and which peak in demand after two to four days of availability before dropping off.
During the last full week of data (November 13-19), Arcane became the number one digital original series with American audiences, beating out perennial frontrunners such as Stranger Things and The Mandalorian.
Netflix and Gaming
Netflix seems to have cracked the code of adapting popular video game IP into globally in-demand TV, with Arcane just the latest successful video game adaptation for the streaming giant.
Other high profile examples include Castlevania and The Witcher, the later of which peaked at an incredible 152.4x global demand after its series premiere nearly two years ago.
Successfully adapting video game IP is important for Netflix for two reasons.
First, it can turn previously niche content mainstream virtually overnight by bringing the massive Netflix audience into a pre-established world. In this case, casual Arcane viewers are being introduced into the immensely popular League of Legends franchise.
Second, Netflix can bring more hardcore gamers who might not otherwise have a need for an SVOD service into the Netflix ecosystem. Renewing Arcane for a second season will keep them coming back for more.
With Netflix Games already available on Android and iOS, bringing in the fanbase of one of the most popular gaming franchises in the world onto the Netflix platform should be seen as their latest powerful salvo in the longterm contest for 21st century consumer attention.