‘Squid Game’ Could Become Netflix’s Most Popular Show

The Netflix series “Squid Game” is played on a mobile phone in this photo illustration. Kim Hong-Ji / Illustration / Reuters

SEOUL – Netflix hit series “Squid Game from South Korea” has gone viral across the world and online by turning popular pre-digital childhood games such as “Red Light, Green Light” into survival challenges deadly.

The playground game where players stop and go at the behest of a tagger is one of six games for kids with fatal consequences featured in the bloody thriller named after a South Korean variant of the tag being played in the 1970s and 1980s using a painting drawn in the earth. In the episode “Red Light, Green Light,” the show’s first, players are shot down for not standing still at the call of a red light.

The Squid Game is the latest in which the show’s 456 cash-strapped contestants, ranging from a North Korean defector to a fund manager accused of embezzlement, must compete for a prize of $ 45.6 billion. won ($ 38.66 million).

The horror series has grown in popularity since its premiere on September 17, becoming the first Korean drama to grab No. 1 on Netflix in the United States. It could become its most popular show to date in the world, the company’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos said on Monday.

“We didn’t see that coming, in terms of global popularity,” he said.

South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, has established itself as a global entertainment hub with its vibrant pop culture, including seven-member group BTS and films such as the Oscar-winning “Parasite,” a satire on class and society, and “Minari”, about a Korean immigrant family in the United States.

The fame of “Squid Game” has transferred to the so-called metaverse, or digital world where people move and communicate in virtual environments.

Thousands of global users have played “Red Light, Green Light” in several arcades dubbed “Squid Game” on Roblox, a California-based maker of popular online video game platforms.

The rooms emulate several film sets and allow users to register for a “Red Light, Green Light” game.

On Twitter, the hashtags “SquidGame” and “RedLightGreenLight” were all the rage, and reviews of Roblox games flooded YouTube and other social media.

Sites outside of the virtual world are also capitalizing on the popularity of the show.

A Facebook post showed that a Quezon City shopping mall in the Philippines installed a 3-meter (10-foot) copy of the doll that calls out the commands for the episode “Red Light, Green Light,” which invites people to play on a crosswalk. outside and win prizes.

Following the success of the nine-part series, season two of “Squid Game” is in the works, and Netflix has announced plans to invest $ 500 million in original movies and TV shows this year in South Korea. , one of the most dynamic markets in Asia.

Javier E. Swan

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