- Netflix's "Arcane" has surged in audience demand since it debuted, according to Parrot Analytics data.
- It was also Netflix's top English-language series last week by the streamer's own metric.
- Riot Games, the company behind the series, has plans to expand its IP further.
Netflix's new animated series "Arcane," based on the online multiplayer video game "League of Legends," has surged in popularity since it debuted earlier this month.
The series was the second most in-demand original streaming series in the world, behind Amazon's new fantasy series "The Wheel of Time," as of Sunday, according to the data firm Parrot Analytics. The company measures "audience demand," which reflects the desire for and engagement with, or overall popularity, of a TV series.
"Arcane" was 67.1 times more in demand than the average series as of Sunday. It grew in global audience demand by 629% between its premiere on November 6 and November 21, and by 228% in the US.
The series was released in weekly batches of three episodes, with the final three episodes debuting this past Saturday. Parrot Analytics insight analyst Wade Payson-Denney said that the strategy "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."
Riot Games, the developer behind "League of Legends," wanted to release the series this way so that fans could better engage with in-game content for a longer period of time.
"We have players all over the world and it was important to reach all of our players," said Christian Linke, the "Arcane" showrunner and a creative director at Riot, in an interview with Insider.
The show is also performing well by Netflix's own metrics. It was the No. 1 English-language series in the world last week, with viewers watching 38.4 million hours from November 15 to November 21, according to the streamer.
And critics have given it a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes (based on 17 reviews). The show "finds plenty of room to add to the world players already know and welcome new fans at the same time," Austen Goslin wrote for Polygon.
So it's no surprise that Netflix already renewed "Arcane" for a second season.
Riot has plans to expand on the "League of Legends" franchise even further, as well as its other popular game, the first-person shooter "Valorant."
"'Arcane' is the launch pad for what I believe will be many stories," said Shauna Spenley, Riot's global president of entertainment.
Netflix has invested heavily in gaming content recently. It's developing live-action shows based on hit game franchises like "Resident Evil" and "Assassin's Creed," and has also launched mobile video games on its service at no extra cost to subscribers.
"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," Payson-Denny said.