A man takes part in a “Squid Game” mission at a department store in Bangkok, Thailand in November 2021. Photo: Reuters
Netflix Inc’s most-watched series is no longer just a fictional television show after the streaming service greenlit “its biggest reality competition ever” called Squid Game: The Challenge.
Unlike the series where the stakes are life or death, the worst possible fate in this 456 player competition will be leaving without the US$4.56 million winnings, which Netflix claims is the largest lump sum prize in reality television history.
“The stakes are high, but in this game the worst fate is going home empty-handed,” Netflix’s Vice-President of Unscripted and Documentary Series, Brandon Riegg, said in a statement.
Squid Game became Netflix’s most-watched series when it was released in September 2021 as it told the story of cash-strapped contestants who play childhood games for a chance to win life-changing sums of money.
The first season holds the record as Netflix’s most popular series of all time, with over 1.65 billion hours viewed in its first 28 days, the company said.
The 10-episode reality competition will include games inspired by the original show, as well as new additions, Netflix said.
One of YouTube’s top US creators, MrBeast, did an unofficial iteration of this idea by recreating aspects of the South Korean drama’s set and hosting games featured in the show, like “Red Light, Green Light”.
The YouTuber also opted out of the killing aspect but strapped a device to all 456 players that mimicked a bullet shot when a player was ruled out.
Netflix’s reality show will be filmed in the UK and is currently only casting English speakers. The announcement comes just days after the scripted series was renewed for a second season.
The company is betting the franchise will help it recover from a drop in subscribers in the first quarter, the first time it shed viewers since 2011.
The one bright spot for the company was Asia, where it added more than 1 million customers.
ARTICLE FROM: South China Morning Post