Squid Game battle royale would reinvent a stagnant genre

Squid Game Sang-woo and Gi-hun look into camera splattered in bloodNetflix: Squid Game

Netflix’s Squid Game has captured the imaginations of viewers all over the world, but if those video game rumors are true it may just conquer the gaming universe as well. 

Steeped in mystery and shattering expectations, Korean survival drama Squid Game has become one of 2021’s most talked about Netflix shows.

Whether it’s your mates down the pub, your pals at work or, in my case, your mother being completely confused about what on earth a “Squid Game” is, you have to have been living under a rock to have escaped the mass buzz surrounding the series.

With real-life events based on the title’s deadly games set to kick off all around the world (violence excluded, of course) there are even rumors of a virtual version to satisfy the gamers of the future. I think a Squid Game videogame is just what the battle royale genre needs, and here’s why.

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The last man standing

For avid battle royale players, the scene is looking pretty bleak. As Fortnite continues to dwindle in popularity despite regular updates, and Call of Duty’s Warzone struggles to maintain its playerbase due to rampant cheating, Apex Legends has become a staple BR.

Apex, however, isn’t without its issues. As an influx of Warzone hackers, banned from the Activision title flock to Respawn’s title, and OG players are boycotting the game until server issues are fixed, the BR’s fate teeters on a knife’s edge.

There’s a perfect umbrella-shaped gap just waiting for a Squid Game battle royale to slot itself into, and considering the variety of games in the show’s story, it could easily be a much more multi-faceted experience than the standard FPS battle royale.

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After all, there are only so many times you can come second place in Apex (or first runner up, as I prefer) without literally losing your mind.

Seer Apex LegendsRespawn Entertainment
Apex Legends is topping the BR charts – for now.

How would a Squid Game BR work?

If there’s one thing I truly believe, it’s that variety is the spice of life. Every game in Squid Game is designed to test a different attribute of the human psyche. From strength to intelligence, morality to brutality, Gi-hun, and his unfortunate squad have everything and the kitchen sink thrown at them – maybe a literal one will get tossed at them in season 2.

Imagine a BR build of six different rounds. The first could be a stealth game, where you have to avoid the lifeless eyes of that terrifying Red Light Green Light doll. The second, a puzzle game akin to the ones you find in Portal or Resident Evil. The third is a timed search for loot, MMORPG style – the list goes on.

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A Squid Game BR could easily pivot away from the shooter genre but still maintain the feel of a fight to the death. Of course, you could always have an FPS level, where players group up in squads and eliminate each other: but there’s one thing I want to hammer home here.

In a Squid Game BR, the possibilities are literally endless – and that’s something gamers of every genre can get excited about.

We know what you’re thinking, though – that sounds an awful lot like a pretty messed up Fall Guys. And in many ways, you’d be right. Mediatonic’s game show format of randomized rounds is great, offering battle royale tension wrapped up in a cuddly platformer. Still, the potential of a Squid Game title’s sheer mechanical diversity means that anything goes – it’s not limited to one set of platforming controls and a loose physics system.

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Squid Game esports

Yes, you read that right.

Squid Game offers the perfect competitive opportunity for those who want more than just bragging rights. While 45.6 billion won ($38,267,875) might be a little too steep of a prize pool (but it would be the perfect icing on the cake,) an esports scene with immense prizes up for grabs isn’t an impossibility. After all, as I said, anything is possible.

Picture an annual tournament – just one, mirroring the show itself – where players can apply to play and are picked at random. Each game progresses until one champion reigns supreme. Offering gamers who don’t play the generic esports games a shot at showing off their prowess, I bet you’d see Valorant players going up against Red Mages from FFXIV Online’s Eorzea.

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Not only would it provide a competitive platform to non-esports titles, but it would also really let anyone have their shot at glory, just like the show does.

After all, everyone is equal in the Squid Game.

Squid Game girl 007 holds up a honeycomb triangleNetflix: Squid Game
A Squid Game competition would open up the playing field to problem-solving gamers.

While a virtual version of Squid Game remains pure speculation at this point, the idea that there even could be one is something to get excited about.

Am I just riding the hype train? Or should I be a game developer? I’ll let you cast your vote on that one. But either way; I think a Squid Game BR could change the face of the genre, and I’m willing to bet 45.6 billion won on it – or a few slaps because, like Gi-hun, I don’t have that money.