“Squid Game” becomes Netflix’s biggest series launch

“Squid Game” is officially Netflix’s biggest series launch ever, with “111 million fans,” the streaming service announce on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, it was announced that “Squid Game,” which premiered in September, was the top show in 90 countries and was on track to be the No. 1 show in Netflix history, Entertainment Tonight reports. 

Not only has it reached that No. 1 spot, it also is also expected to be one of the most popular Halloween costumes this year, and recipes for the show’s infamous honeycomb candy are all over social media. 

The show surpassed another ultra-popular Netflix show, “Bridgerton,” which was projected to have streamed in 63 million households within its first four weeks on the streaming platform.

“Squid Games” is nail-biting show about financially struggling contestants hoping to win billions of dollars competing against each other in typical South Korean children’s games. The only catch is, if you lose a game you are “eliminated” – literally. In the first game, “red light, green light,” contestants who accidentally move after a giant doll-like moderator says “red light” are shot by snipers. 

The show is not only captivating fans around the world, it is changing the lives of those involved. “Squid Game” creator Hwang Dong-hyuk spent 10 years conceiving the idea for the show until he got his big break at Netfilx, the company said. “Thanks to Netflix, there was no limit and I was given creative freedom to work as I wanted to,” he said. 

One of the actors from “Squid Game” wrote about the impact of the show with a simple message on Instagram. “Thank you for making me a millionaire,” Heo Sung-tae, who plays one of the show’s villains, Jang Deok-su, said.

South Korea Squid Game
Park Hae-soo, Lee Jung-jae and Jung Ho-yeon in a scene from “Squid Game,” a globally popular South Korea-produced Netflix show that depicts hundreds of financially distressed characters competing in deadly children’s games for a chance to escape severe debt.  Youngkyu Park/Netflix via AP

Earlier this year, Netflix said it would release more Korean series and films by establishing two production facilities in Korea. The streaming service invested $700 million in Korean content from 2015 to 2020 and streamed more than 80 shows made in Korea. “Squid Game” is just one part of a slate of projects Netflix developed this year.

As for a “Squid Game” sequel, Hwang said he doesn’t have well developed plans yet. “It is quite tiring just thinking about it,” he told Variety. “But if I were to do it, I would certainly not do it alone. I’d consider using a writers’ room and would want multiple experienced directors.”

Hwang is currently developing a film with the tentative title of “KO Club” – short for “Killing Old Men Club” – which he says is a kind of inter-generational war premise, according to Variety.