It looks like Squid Game is the new champion at Netflix. After debuting on the streaming service on Sept. 17, the South Korean drama series has quickly grown in popularity, consistently topping the most-watched titles list. Netflix has now confirmed with CNN that Squid Game has officially set the record for the “biggest-ever series at launch,” with a reported 111 million accounts tuning in since last month’s premiere date.
By comparison, Bridgerton was certainly a big hit for Netflix when it first dropped on Christmas Day, but it still didn’t come close to matching these Squid Game numbers. Bridgerton was viewed in 82 million households within its first 28 days, which is obviously a huge success. Still, Squid Game has far surpassed those numbers, and in less time to boot. It still reigns as the No. 1 show on Netflix in 94 countries around the world and the first-ever Korean series to reach No. 1 in the United States.
Per CNN, there are still some factors to consider along with this announcement. These words come straight from Netflix and are not examined by any third parties or outside sources, due to the company keeping all of that information internal. The 111 million figure also doesn’t include only those who’ve managed to watch the whole series, counting everyone who’s watched at least two minutes of the show. Even so, there’s no denying that the popularity of the series is tremendous.
“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,” Minyoung Kim, Netflix’s vice president of content for Korea, South East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, told CNN. “Today, Squid Game has broken through beyond our wildest dreams. Squid Game gave [Netflix] more confidence that our global strategy is going towards the right direction.”
Squid Game is one of those shows that’s hard to summarize and really has to be seen to be believed. Written and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, it centers on a deadly game where hundreds of contestants play children’s games with the caveat that they’ll be killed for real if they lose. While the players are aware of the risks, the idea of getting out of their deep debt it what motivates them to keep going. It’s unique and certainly leaves quite the impression on viewers. Critics are loving it as well with a 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Of the inspiration behind the series, Dong-hyuk told Variety, “I wanted to write a story that was an allegory or fable about modern capitalist society, something that depicts an extreme competition, somewhat like the extreme competition of life. But I wanted it to use the kind of characters we’ve all met in real life. As a survival game it is entertainment and human drama. The games portrayed are extremely simple and easy to understand. That allows viewers to focus on the characters, rather than being distracted by trying to interpret the rules.”
Of a potential followup, the director added, “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.”
Congrats to the Squid Game team for this remarkable success. You can watch the series right now on Netflix. This news comes to us from CNN.