Derived from the video game phenomenon League of Legends, the animated series “Arcane” has just hit Netflix. And hit hard! The opportunity to talk to Pascal Charrue, co-creator of the series and co-founder of the brilliant studio Fortiche.
Online battle arena video game, League of Legends, released in 2009 and developed by the studio Riot Games, has since experienced a meteoric rise, and has even established itself as one of the most played titles in the world in 2013. It also seduces the world of electronic sport by becoming the most watched eSport event in history , with over 32 million viewers online and over 8.5 million simultaneous views in the 2013 World Championship Season 3 Finals.
In 2016, Riot Games announced 100 million active players. Often regarded as the video game with the largest competitive scene in the world, the 2019 League of Legends World Championship attracted more than 44 million simultaneous spectators. We have clearly gone, for several years now, from a surprise phenomenon to a cultural phenomenon.
In 2019, moreover, to celebrate the ten years of his fetish license, Riot Games did not do things by halves, by making a whole series of announcements, between the arrival of a card game, an FPS, the mobile and console versions of League of Legends … But also the arrival of an animated series called Arcane, the distribution of which, just started on Netflix, is a big hit with audiences; rather deserved elsewhere.
An animated series created under the (very) good auspices of the animation studio Fortiche, whose premises are located in the 13th arrondissement in Paris. And longtime collaborator with Riot Games. The broadcast of the series Arcane was a good opportunity to ask a few questions precisely to one of the founders of this brilliant studio and co-creator of the series, Pascal Charrue.
DashFUN: First of all, I would like you to retrace your career a little. What motivated you to create your own animation studio after going through the video game industry?
Pascal Plow: I have always drawn a lot and I knew very early on that I wanted to make a living from my drawing! After a year of prep in Applied Arts, I did several training courses at Gobelins, the school of the image. There was a video game animator training course that had just opened and that’s how I started working in the video game world.
It was the first time that I touched 3D software and I discovered a more technical aspect. I very quickly fell in love with 3D tools and particularly character modeling. I started to “designer”, model and texture characters for a video game company. Company where I met Jérôme Combe who would later become my partner. He had been hired to create a teaser for this company, where I was just starting out. It was artistic love at first sight for both of them. My urge to tell stories prompted me to work in the animation industry and quit the video game industry. But a few years later, the world of video games ended up taking up a lot of space in my life with Riot Games and the project Arcane.
What could be the philosophy of studio Fortiche?
I don’t know if there is a philosophy but several words come to mind: “hack, artistic, different, passion and family”. “Bidouille”, because we like to find the simplest solutions to produce our images, whatever the tool, the result is always a series of images. “Artistic”, because we highlight the talents that make up our teams and there are many in each department, even the most technical. “Different”, because it has always been our desire to be on the sidelines in the narrative and the visual. “Passion”, because it takes some, our job is not easy every day. And finally “Family”, for the collective and positive spirit that we try to maintain within the company even if it continues to grow.
You wanted to develop, at the beginning of the 2000s I believe, a new visual approach in animation, in order to target a more adult audience. Can you explain / expand?
I don’t know if it was already in the early 2000s, because I didn’t have a lot of professional background yet. What is certain is that I have always liked challenges and I very quickly started freelancing with apprehension at the beginning. Then I realized that this was a status I found myself in the most! I could choose the projects I wanted to work on without anyone imposing them on me, whether it was a boss or a producer!
So I decided to set up my company, starting from …