The South Korean squid game has officially become the most popular series of the Netflix video store. The nine-part thriller, in which the indebted fight for life in children’s games with a vision of fairy-tale wealth, was premiered a month ago. It has been seen by more than 111 million people since then.
After the dystopian drama, countless memes have already appeared on social media, as well as Halloween costumes inspired by green tracksuits worn by the participants of the series.
Korean sweetness, called dalgona, which the contestant must empty from the sample, has also gained popularity. Yong-hui, a 37-year-old confectioner who has been making longbreads in the South Korean capital Seoul for the past eight years, said he hasn’t come home in a week since the series premiered because customers piled up in-store and a steady stream of orders. Before the series, it sold about 200 longs a day, now it’s 500 a day.
The series further increased interest in Korean. Manufacturers of the Duolingo language learning platform said the number of users learning Korean has increased by 76 per cent in the UK compared to 40 per cent in the United States. The numbers come from a time when the series was only visible for two weeks.
Now, the game Squid has reached the second target with 111 million views on Netflix. “This is the most of all our series,” the platform confirmed on Wednesday. The series premiered on September 17 and broke the record in 27 days. It surpassed Netflix’s biggest hit to date, the Bridgerton series. In the first 28 days after its release, it recorded 82 million views.
Netflix rarely provides viewership data, but in both cases it states that one view counts only for those users who play at least two minutes from one episode.
The Game of Squids is an addictive thriller, a fun bloody one, and a critique of late capitalism, summed up by critic Tomáš Stejskal in a review on Aktuálně.cz. “Rapid decline, action, tension and strong emotional turmoil support eye-catching scenes in the middle of mazes that look as if MC Escher’s visual pranks have turned into a children’s show in bright but pastel muted colors. Even fair rules. And thanks to similar paradoxes, the series attractive, “he wrote.
The Squid Game series is on Netflix with Czech subtitles. | Video: Netflix
Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos said at a technology conference in California last month that the company’s popularity had caught the squid game. “We didn’t expect it to be a global hit,” he admitted.
The series aroused so much interest that South Korean internet provider SK Broadband sued Netflix for it. It asks him to compensate for the increased costs associated with maintaining and extraordinary data flow in the weeks when users streamed the squid game. At that time, 24 times more normal data flowed through the SK broadband network. A South Korean court has already acknowledged that the company there should be entitled to compensation in an amount not yet determined. Netflix replied that it did not object to negotiations with the provider.
The video store also had to deal with a complaint from South Korea, whose phone number was mentioned in the series, and after the premiere, it was flooded with thousands of unsolicited calls and text messages. Netflix and Siren Pictures have promised to remove the number from the clip.
The businesswoman is worried and cannot change her number because her customer contacts depend on him, she said. When the production company offered her compensation in the amount of one million South Korean won, which is about 18,000 kroner, it rejected it as too small an amount.
Netflix has previously announced that it will invest about $ 500 million in South Korea this year in the production of new films and series, or nearly $ 11 billion.