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Arcane: League of Legends Creator Buys a Stake in Animation Studio

Riot Games, the creator of League of Legends, has bought a "significant, non-controlling stake" in the animation studio behind Netflix's Arcane.

Riot Games has strengthened its longtime partnership with Fortiche Production, the studio handling animation duties for Arcane, through a new equity investment that will see the League of Legends developer and publisher taking a "non-controlling stake and board advisory role" in the company, following a recent collaboration on the hit Netflix series.

Under the terms of the investment, which closed earlier this year, the board advisory roles at Fortiche will be headed up by Riot's Director of Corporate Development, Brendan Mulligan, and Riot's Chief Content Officer, Brian Wright. Wright is a former Netflix executive, who was hired in September to develop the company's global film, TV and animation strategies.

Riot Games is known for developing and publishing League of Legends and Valorant, and the company is currently working with Fortiche on the second season of Arcane, the critically acclaimed animated series that takes place in the League of Legends universe, as well as "other to-be-announced projects," according to the press release announcing the investment.

"The various collaborations with Riot Games, and especially Arcane, have made Fortiche Production a new major player on the international animation scene," said the co-founders of Fortiche. "Riot Games, by trusting us, has given us the means to achieve our common ambitions and has shown that it is possible to offer new content that can reach a large audience. In 2023, we will celebrate ten years of collaboration: there is no better way to symbolize the trust and ambitions of our two companies than this association!"

"Fortiche has been an integral partner for a long time, but this agreement ensures we'll be working closely for decades to come," said Nicolo Laurent, CEO of Riot. "We hold a high bar for everyone we work with and insist they understand players deeply and focus on them relentlessly, and from day one, Fortiche has exemplified Player Experience First. In working with Fortiche, we collaborate to push the boundaries of what's possible and raise expectations for how games can be represented in media. As proud as we are of Arcane, we know the best is yet to come."

Arcane quickly became the number one streaming show on Netflix when it premiered in November, and it held onto the top spot for three weeks in a row. IGN's review of Arcane awarded it a rare 10/10 score, saying, "Arcane is the first video game adaptation that's truly a masterpiece, breaking new ground for what's possible in TV animation."

Adele Ankers-Range is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.

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