Netflix calls Squid Game its ‘biggest ever series at launch’

Image: Netflix

Netflix’s hugely popular series Squid Game has become its biggest title ever at launch, the company said Monday.

The company’s Netflix Geeked account tweeted Monday that Hwang Dong-Hyuk’s survival thriller reached 111 million global accounts in its first 17 days on the service. Additionally, Squid Game is the first Netflix series to surpass 100 million in its first 28 days on the service, a spokesperson told The Verge. Netflix typically uses 28-day windows to measure the performance of a title on its platform.

The spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that the figures it shared are based on the number of accounts that watched the series for at least two minutes, its standard metric for ranking titles (though it has used additional measurements to track the success of titles in the past).

Since debuting on Netflix on September 17th, Squid Game has reached the no. 1 position on the streaming service in 94 countries — every country in the world where the service features a top 10 list, the company spokesperson said. Additionally, the show has held the no. 1 position for 21 days in the US, shattering the record for a non-English language title.

Squid Game was previously announced as the first Korean title to reach the top spot in the US.


Glad to see a foreign series doing so well globally. I thought it was a really enjoyable show and would love to see more horror/thriller shows like it and Sweet Home on streaming services (open to suggestions if anyone has them).

I thought Squid Game was fun but it could have been better. As just one example, the scenes with the foreign VIPs were so badly written and acted, it was like watching a student film.

I thought so too at first, but then realized they deliberately did that to caricaturize the foreign VIPs to look extremely bad and debauched. Definitely worked like a charm, I must say, cuz I loathed them lol.

On the flip side, the Korean actors’ and actresses’ acting were phenomenal.

realized they deliberately did that to caricaturize the foreign VIPs to look extremely bad and debauched

Hmm, that’s a reach. They just seemed like bad actors.

It gave it a slightly Kubrick flavour, where it makes you more distanced from the characters, especially when they’re wearing animal masks. But also, they may just have been bad actors.

I think you make a good point about the Kubrick-esque distance from the characters. It made us feel more than just reviled by the foreign VIPs, it was like they were from another planet.

From my experience, most Asian films that I’ve seen where they bring American/European characters in, the actors are horrible. I always thought that maybe there’s a company that hires expatriate actors that all happen to be really bad at acting, but might be really affordable? Very rarely do I see a white actor in an Asian film that can act and speak the native language spoken in the film competently.

this happens often w/ foreign language actors in any production.. For instance the Korean speaking extras in Black Panther were ridiculous bc they were speaking in the worst broken Korean.. Similarly Jin in Lost speaks the most broken Korean and its very jarring when hes talking w/ Sun who speaks perfect Korean.

That could very well be true, haha. But it also just seems to make sense that way because the dialogue was very deliberately exaggerated. There’s no way those were just bad actors botching a normal sounding dialogue. It was to elicit a certain reaction from viewers imho. Like a caricature. I think wowser makes a good point about the Kubrick flavor.

I’ve only seen the first episode and thought it was interesting but not some immediate draw for my tastes. I have to say though I think part of the success is that absolute barren wasteland of other content to watch on netflix.

I loved Sweet Home as well and I’m looking forward to it’s next season and more content from Foreign Series too.

Didn’t know there was going to be a second season. Guess there’s something else for me to look forward to!

Loved Squid Games!

Think the ending was somewhat of a mishap though Revealing the Old man as a VIP in the end seemed unneeded and imo cheapened some of the previous heartfelt moments. All they needed was a quick scene after him winning struggling and the scene witnessing someone else playing the entry game at the station

yeah the ending sucked. I hate shows that respect the viewer’s time. It reminds me a bit of prison break – it’s trying to introduce some vast conspiracy to justify more seasons but I don’t care because all the interesting characters are dead. If it ended exactly as you said I’d be happy.

I get that Netflix wants to pump up its numbers, but that "watched for 2 minutes" metric is weird. It’s counting someone who clicked on it by mistake and left after five minutes just as much as someone who watched the whole series. It’s such a misleading way to present it.

Yeah, you get more plot (and time) out of the autoplay trailer. They may as well count that, too.

It will be interesting to see if they have 111 million new subscribers…

Been a fun show so far, but lets not forget…Even when people who click the title and let it play for just a minute counts as a "view."

I liked the show but I don’t find it justifies this global phenomenon. It’s really interesting to see how some things just go viral, just like that. Reminds me of that Tiger thing from last year (that I didn’t watch), everyone and their grandmother was gushing about it.

SG is interesting like Battle Royale or Alice in Borderlands, but better? To this scale? No way imho.

In any case, way to go! Regardless of the above, I’m happy for them that they took off and hope they’ll come back for a second season. They certainly teased one!

Popularity has never been a proportional indicator of quality (whatever its definition) and never will.

I know, that’s… kind of my point

If I had to make an educated guess, I think this really hit with viewers across all borders because of the humanity and simplicity of the execution.

Given Korean cinema’s reputation for exceptional acting and meticulous character development, if you further combine that with the simplicity of the actual games, the audience really gets an opportunity to just focus on and get drawn into the characters and emotions. So despite the fictional nature of the premise, it still felt somewhat real and relatable.

It also helps that the visuals are super entrancing and mesmerizing (mixed with horrifying), which naturally leads to meme-ability. It’s crazy how the world-building of Squid Games is once-in-a-generation, which is probably why so many different aspects of the show, from food to fashion to language, proliferate with the memes.

I’m sure there are a few more reasons too, but right off the bat these already set it apart from other titles in this genre that are usually too sci-fi, video game-ish, or bereft of first-class acting, hence normally falling into a niche audience.

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