Netflix has confirmed that ARCANE will have a Season 2 now that Jinx left fans hanging with a big Fishbones cliffhanger ending in Episode 9. There are many stories that ARCANE Season 2 could tell in the Runeterra cinematic universe, but when will ARCANE: League of Legends Season 2 come out?
Former Netflix executive Shauna Spenley, who now works at Riot Games, was quite clear in early November 2021 that there is “more to come” in the overall franchise as they “step into live-action and other stories”.
“I don’t think most of Hollywood realizes how massive this is,” Spenley told the Los Angeles Times. “I think that we have a huge opportunity to build amazing organic stories inside of this world [of Runeterra], and for it to quietly build and become the IP that defines a generation. It’s going to take a little time.”
And it’s always been their long-term plan. Way back in October 2019, Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent flat-out stated that they planned out multiple seasons, which means we’ll be watching ARCANE Season 3, never mind a second season.
“It is very important for us to keep both creative and financial control as we enter the world of TV. We are committed to Arcane for multiple seasons. Creative will have the space to craft amazing stories and deep characters,” Nicolo said at the time.
On November 20, 2021, Riot Games made it official by releasing the ARCANE Season 2 trailer. There’s not much to it so don’t worry about any spoilers.
The ARCANE animated series represents Riot Games’ first attempt at expanding League of Legends’ lore to the TV screen. They partnered with French animation studio Fortiche Production, which is mostly known for doing music videos, the 2015 animated Le dernier Gaulois documentary movie, and the Rabbids Invasion TV show in the past. Fortiche also produced the LoL teaser trailers for the video game series with a combination of 2D and 3D animation.
The animation was directed by Pascal Charrue (2015 Le dernier Gaulois) and Arnaud Delord (2017 Rocket & Groot TV show). The project was helmed by showrunners Christian “Praeco” Linke, the Creative Director and Composer at Riot Games, and Alex Yee, the game developer’s Creative Designer.
“We did bring in writers and advisers from Hollywood to help us get the lay of the land. But we always found that the best results came from having a mix of people who had worked internally on the game, who had also played the game, and then people from the outside,” Yee said according to The Washington Post. “It was always a goal for us to have the show be something that is watchable and enjoyable for people on either side of that spectrum.”
The story was written by the two showrunners in combination with writers Connor Sheehy, Riot Games’ Senior Narrative Writer, and Ash Brannon, who has worked on acclaimed movies like Toy Story and A Bug’s Life.
The ARCANE Season 2 OP (opening) theme song music hasn’t been announced yet.
The first season of the ARCANE: LoL TV show was streaming exclusively on Netflix and China’s Tencent Video in Fall 2021. It was originally scheduled to release in 2020, but it was delayed due to the COVID pandemic.
This article provides everything that is known about ARCANE Season 2 (ARCANE: League of Legends Season 2 / ARCANE Act 4) and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.
ARCANE Act 4 isn’t planned for Season 1
The first act (Episodes 1 through 3) of the ARCANE TV show premiered on November 6, 2021, while ARCANE Act 2 (Episodes 4 through 6) came out on November 13, 2021.
The ARCANE Act 3 release date is set for midnight on Saturday, November 4, 2021. ARCANE: League of Legends Act 3 will include Episodes 7, 8, and 9.
Unfortunately, the total number of episodes for ARCANE is nine in all. There are currently no plans for an ARCANE Act 4 release date, or an ARCANE Episode 10.
When the ARCANE sequel released the continuation will likely be labeled as ARCANE Season 2.
ARCANE: League of Legends Season 2 release date predictions: Fast turnaround likely?
As of the last update, Netflix, Riot Games, Fortiche Production, or any company related to the production of the animation has not officially confirmed the ARCANE Season 2 release date. However, the production of an ARCANE: League of Legends sequel was announced on November 20, 2021.
Once the news is officially confirmed, this article will be updated with the relevant information.
In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when ARCANE: League of Legends Season 2 release date will occur in the future.
The crazy part is that the animators pulled off this gorgeous animation on a lower-than-average production budget. A French artist on Twitter complained that Fortiche wanted her to substantially lower her regular pay rate while simultaneously claiming that she should accept the lower offer due to the “exposure” it would offer her work.
Even showrunner Christian Linche himself described the initial resistance he faced within Riot Games to convince others to fund the project. His original pitch was rejected and after scaling back the vision he begged for $5,000 to try again.
“I found these two artists from Russia and had some concept art done and showed it to them. I said, ‘OK, give me $15 grand to do some 3-D models.’ I started talking to Fortiche and said, ‘I don’t know what this can be,’ but we did a 3-D model of Vi while I was working on the story,” Linke explained. “Then I said, ‘Now I need 60 grand to do some rudimentary tests of animation.’ Then that was enough. At that point, the question was whether we were doing this or not.”
In the first week of November 2021, it was still unclear if Netflix would have ARCANE renewed for a second season. But Linke made it very clear that they were open to creating ARCANE Season 2.
“We still need to earn our stripes with ‘Arcane’ and see: Do the ‘League’ players in the audience actually like it? Do they think this is a good expression of our characters in our world? And if so, yeah, we would really like to take this further,” Linke said at the time. “But right now, we just burned this massive hole in Riot’s wallet. Let’s see if that was really worth it.”
Fast-forward by several weeks and Riot and Netflix now knows for certain that they have an international hit on their hands. The Riot CEO may have intended for ARCANE to have multiple seasons, but now a second and third season are inevitable since Netflix’s ARCANE TV show was number one in 52 countries at one point, beating out even Squid Game despite being available for streaming in fewer countries.
It’s not a surprise since the great animation in combination with the emotionally compelling storyline set in a steampunk fantasy world is accessible to anyone, not just LoL game fans who follow the story lore. The ARCANE reviews were great, with the Rotten Tomatoes rating at 100% for critics and 98% for the audience score.
What is surprising is that the ARCANE TV show was not number one in Netflix’s Top 10 for the USA. Instead, ARCANE was regularly beaten by arguably lesser competitors like Big Mouth, Maid, You, and Narcos: Mexico. When this article was initially published just days before the ARCANE Act 3 release date, the LoL TV show was at number 2 but it had spent less than a week in the Top 10 list.
And it’s not like ARCANE was silently released with little fanfare in the USA. Riot Games had been extensively marketing the launch of the Netflix ARCANE TV show in all of their games with in-game drops and special themes. They collaborated with other games like PUBG Mobile, Among Us, and Valorant. There was even a Jinx Fortnite skin.
Before the first episode premiered on Twitch with millions watching, they released an interactive online visual novel. The TV show even launched on the same day as the League World Championship 2021 finals, which meant gamers would be hard-pressed to not know about ARCANE.
Regardless, Netflix has a history of renewing its animated exclusives even when they’re not topping the charts. For example, Netflix’s Record of Ragnarok Season 2, BEASTARS Season 3, The Seven Deadly Sins Season 5, Ultraman Season 2, and The Way of the House Husband Season 2 were all confirmed in production shortly after their respective previous seasons were released.
But it’s not like being a Netflix anime exclusive signifies an automatic renewal. Netflix’s Yasuke Season 2, Netflix’s High-Rise Invasion Season 2, Netflix’s Kengan Ashura Season 3, Netflix’s Drifting Dragons Season 2, Netflix’s The Idhun Chronicles Season 3, and Netflix’s 7 SEEDS Season 3 were never announced even though several of these TV shows were based on finished stories from books or Japanese manga series.
And now we know that Netflix is having ARCANE renewed. Riot may have planned out the sequel in advance but now Netflix is probably demanding it considering the astounding streaming numbers, never mind the huge variety of story options for ARCANE Season 2.
The only question is when the ARCANE Season 2 release will take place. Fortiche Production hasn’t announced any future projects for 2022 yet. But now that the streaming numbers have come in and the official announcement made they’ll be gearing up for early production.
The brief ARCANE: League of Legends Season 2 trailer notably did not include any characters or hints about the upcoming story plot. It’s just an animated logo, which is probably an indication that beginning actual work on the ARCANE sequel was waiting until they were greenlit for production.
The first season took six years to create according to the showrunners, but that was due to the necessity of building everything from the ground up starting in 2015. They even halted the production at one point to refocus the scripts. Thus, the turnaround time on the ARCANE sequel should be significantly less assuming the story writing phase doesn’t have similar production hiccups.
Considering that the Riot CEO was talking about multiple seasons back in 2019, it’s likely that the overall storyline and scripts are either finished or close to completion. Thus, the ARCANE Season 2 release date will be in late 2022 or 2023.
Where ARCANE Season 2’s story could take us next
Warning: The following contains spoilers for the ending of ARCANE Season 1.
The final scene in ARCANE Episode 9 essentially lets the mic drop explosively. While it almost feels like there should be more to Jinx’s backstory, the ending explains why Vi and Jinx are bitter rivals and shows how Powder came to be the person she is now while still leaving the door wide open for an ARCANE sequel.
The chess pieces are all in place for the next season. Jinx has firmly declared herself to be Jinx in madcap fashion. Silco died, but not before understanding why Vander chose children over the nation of Zaun. The council is about to have Jayce’s attempt at peace blown to pieces (Jayce will survive due to plot armor, but what about the rest?). Heimerdinger is with Ekko doing science. We see a glimpse of Warwick in the Singed lab at the end. Viktor is beginning to evolve with the magic hex core.
On the relationship side of things, Caitlyn and Vi have started teasing the whole cupcake dance. They didn’t seal the ship with a kiss like some fans desired, but it would have been odd for people who just met to move that quickly. It’s more likely that the romance will be a slow-burn relationship.
While ARCANE’s Jinx could still be the focus of the next story arc since it’s essentially the prologue to war it’s also possible that ARCANE Season 2 could shift the narrative perspective to other sets of characters. After all, there are already plenty of other League of Legends characters with starring roles in ARCANE, including Viktor, Jayce, Ekko, Caitlyn, and Heimerdinger.
“In a game like League of Legends, you have to stay on the surface level with our characters, because there are 150 characters in League of Legends, so in order for you to get an idea of who a character really is, you have like five, ten voiceover lines that are going to really stick with you. But you need to be very clear about who they are, and when you craft something like Arcane, you do have to go much deeper,” showrunner Christian Linke said in an interview with Screen Rant. “That was something we never really explored, so I think it was just adding these layers that actually are necessary to even really entertain real drama and real human elements and moments that in League you don’t really experience with these characters.”
While the first season featured the conflict between Piltover and Zaun, the second season has a list of conflicts that could be the focus of ARCANE 2. The political machinations of Swain and the invasion of Ionia by Noxus is one such story.
And Act 3 went out of its way to highlight the conflict that was brewing in Noxus by having Mel Medarda’s mother blurt out the details. Introducing the Noxus conflict is important long-term since the Noxian Empire has characters like Cassiopeia, Vladimir, Darius, Draven, and many more. (It should be noted that Mel is an original character created by ARCANE, not a LoL Champion.)
Another possibility is to mirror how Via and Jinx’s sisterly bond evolved as they became adults. Similarly, the love story of the Romeo and Juliet-esque Leona and Diana could be shown from their perspective as they grew up among the warring religions of Mount Targon. (One of the discs on the music player in Vander’s bar The Last Drop might contain a reference to Leona and Diana.)
ARCANE Season 2 could also go the revolutionary route by animating the story of Sylas and Lux in Demacia. Part of this story has already been adapted into a Lux comic so at least the groundwork has already been laid.
A more obvious approach would be to adapt more of the story of Ryze, the mysterious mage who witnessed the Rune Wars. It would make sense to explain why modern society fears magic in the world of League of Legends.
Ryze can also interact with multiple characters in the overall timeline. Besides explaining the past, an ARCANE prequel that introduces Ryze and then another champion like Brand (Kegan Rodhe) could create a shared connection point between all the seasons in the ARCANE: League of Legends cinematic universe.
Unfortunately, fans will just have to wait for the ARCANE Season 2 release date to see which direction Riot takes the series. Stay tuned!