Netflix Names “Squid Game” As Its Most Popular Series Launch
The South Korean drama series has garnered 111 million fans since its debut on September 17.
Streaming giant Netflix took to Twitter on Tuesday to announce that the widely talked about drama series, “Squid Game,” which debuted on September 17, has officially been named as the platform’s “biggest series launch ever.”
The previous record holder, “Bridgerton,” reached 82 million households within the first 28 days of its release, according to Netflix. “Squid Game,” which tells the story of a group of people in South Korea who participate in deadly games to win money, surpassed that number in a shorter amount of time and has maintained its position as number one on Netflix’s Top 10 list in over 94 countries.
Minyoung Kim, Netflix’s vice president of content for Asia Pacific, told CNN that the popularity of “Squid Game” proves that Netflix’s “global strategy is going towards the right direction.” Reflecting on the company’s strategic international endeavors, Kim said, “When we first started investing in Korean series and films in 2015, we knew we wanted to make world-class stories for the core K-content fans across Asia and the world.”
The show’s creator, Hwang Dong-hyuk, said he spent a decade working on the show — looking for investors and finding the right cast — before getting the green light from Netflix. “I dabbled in it for about a year, but I had to put it to sleep then.” In the meantime, Dong-hyuk worked on his films Silence (2011), Miss Granny (2014), and The Fortress (2017). “Thanks to Netflix, there was no limit and I was given creative freedom to work as I wanted to,” Dong-hyuk said.
The immediate, widespread success of “Squid Game” is a testament to Dong-hyuk’s hard work. Outfits displayed in the show could potentially take the top spot as this year’s most popular Halloween costumes. According to shoe company Sole Supplier, sales of white slip-on vans, which were displayed in the show, have spiked 7.8% since the release of “Squid Game.” The teal and red jumpsuits featured in the show are also popping up across Amazon and Etsy, with one jumpsuit priced at $130.
“Squid Game” was part of a number of Korean films commissioned by Netflix after the company opened two production companies in the country. Over a five-year period, Netflix invested $700 million in Korean content and created more than 80 shows.
As for a sequel, creator Dong-hyuk told Variety, “I don’t have well developed plans for ‘Squid Game 2.’ It is quite tiring just thinking about it. 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.”
“Today, Squid Game has broken through beyond our wildest dreams,” Netflix’s Kim said in response to the show’s record breaking success.