Squid Game reality series set to mark major change for Netflix

A still from Squid Game: The Challenge reality seriesNetflix

Squid Game: The Challenge, the upcoming blockbuster reality series, could mark a major shakeup for Netflix’s release strategy – don’t look forward to binging it.

Before 2021, Stranger Things would have been considered the crown jewel of Netflix’s streaming portfolio – but then came Squid Game, the breakout South Korean mega-hit that became the platform’s most-watched show ever.

The world’s obsession with the show – its macabre violence, its incisive commentary on capitalism, the ‘could I win?’ conversations – saw it become fertile ground for a franchise. Season 2 is currently in the works, and MrBeast hopped on the trend quickly with his own $456,000 adaptation in real life.

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Netflix has followed suit, but it’s upping the ante by offering the largest cash sum in TV history: $4.56 million. It’s set to be one of the biggest pop culture events of 2023, but it may not be released in the way you’re expecting.

Squid Game reality series may release weekly on Netflix

Unlike Squid Game and the vast majority of Netflix shows, The Challenge may be released in weekly batches of episodes.

This comes from Deadline, which wrote: “Netflix is weighing a staggered release strategy for Squid Game: The Challenge as it attempts to build a buzz around the ambitious spin-off series.

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“The tactic has traditionally been the preserve of broadcast television, but streamers have experimented with different release strategies in recent years and Netflix insiders hope it can create appointment to view moments for Squid Game: The Challenge.”

While rare, it’s not unprecedented for Netflix: Physical 100, which hit the platform earlier this year, dropped in batches of two episodes every Tuesday, and other reality shows like Too Hot to Handle and The Circle have also been released weekly.

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Some people have criticized the idea of turning Squid Game into a reality series; after all, wasn’t the original show meant to be an anti-capitalist satire that illustrates how people’s welfare plays second fiddle to one’s fortune? Well, complain all you want, but the original creator has supported The Challenge.

“I think that even though our show does carry quite a heavy message, and I know there are some concerns of taking that message and creating it into a reality show with a cash prize… I feel like whenever you take things too seriously, that’s really not the best way to go for the entertainment industry,” Hwang Dong-hyuk told Entertainment Weekly.

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Squid Game: The Challenge will hit Netflix on November 22, 2023. Find out more about the series here.

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