Is Squid Game: The Challenge scripted?

Cameron Frew
Mai, Phill, and Sam in the Squid Game: The Challenge finale

Squid Game: The Challenge just crowned its winner. But amid the divisive response to the finale, you may be wondering: is the show scripted?

One of the reasons Squid Game became such an enormous phenomenon was the brilliant, devious simplicity of its concept: they’re relatively easy children’s games, and everyone thinks they could win it – or at the very least get past Red Light, Green Light.

It’s what drove MrBeast to create his own version of the contest, which pitted 456 people against each other in a chaotic, hilarious bid to win $456,000. With The Challenge, Netflix gave its biggest success the reality TV treatment and eclipsed that prize fund with the largest reward in television history: $4.56 million.

Today, one player walked away with that life-changing amount of money. But the finale has been criticized online for focusing on games of luck over skill, and some people are asking: is it scripted?

Was Squid Game: The Challenge scripted?

No, Squid Game: The Challenge isn’t scripted.

While Netflix has denied any rigging, the final button-pressing test in the last episode raised viewers’ suspicions. “The producers 1000% selected the players for the final round. Given the fact that the electronic button didn’t instantly turn the color, instead it blinked and then changed to whatever color the producer [chose] behind the scenes,” one Redditor claimed.

“As soon as I saw the buttons ‘rigged’ was sounding in my head, seemed to me they likely had an idea the direction they wanted to go by the final three and easily could’ve controlled the outcome of the buttons and the keys to make for a ‘better’ finale,” another wrote.

“They wouldn’t have let the first one be red because then alll the anticipation is gone and the ‘game’ is over. I also think the key thing was rigged. Obviously they wouldn’t let the very first key open it.. again then it would be over,” a third wrote.

The button test in the finale of Squid Game: The Challenge

In an earlier Rolling Stone report, former contestants accused the show of fixing eliminations. “It really wasn’t a game show. It was a TV show, and we were basically extras in a TV show,” one claimed, while two others alleged their return tickets had already been booked for immediately after the day they exited the competition.

Bryton (432) also revealed that his cookie broke during the Dalgona challenge, but he still passed, with viewers suspecting he was allowed to continue as he was a prominent personality (and villain) at that point in the series.

Netflix responds to Squid Game “rigging” claims

In a statement, a spokesperson for the series said: “Any suggestion that the competition is rigged or claims of serious harm to players are simply untrue. We’ve taken all the appropriate safety precautions, including after-care for contestants — and an independent adjudicator is overseeing each game to ensure it’s fair to everyone.”

For example, the correct pathway across Glass Bridge was pre-decided, but contestants had no prior knowledge of where to step. “The pass-or-fail pattern of the stepping stones was also determined before the game began, and the pattern was so top-secret that only a small group of people on the production side knew exactly which stone was which. Independent adjudicators were used to oversee the game in progress to ensure nothing changed,” Netflix explained.

Squid Game: The Challenge is available to stream on Netflix now. You can check out more of our coverage below: