What is Squid Game: The Challenge? Netflix reality show spinoff explained

Chris Tilly
One of the contests in Squid Game.

Squid Game was a phenomenon when it hit Netflix in 2021, and now the drama has spawned the biggest reality show in TV history – so, here’s everything we know about Squid Game: The Challenge.

Squid Game dropped on Netflix in the September of 2021, and promptly became the streaming service’s most watched series ever, amassing 1.65 billion view hours in its first 28 days. Telling the tale of a secret contest where poor people compete in deadly games for a huge sum of money, the show immediately captured the imagination of the world.

Critical acclaim followed, as did a whole bunch of awards, the show winning at the Emmys, Screen Actors Guild, and Golden Globes.

Talk quickly turned to a sequel, with the show renewed for a second season in June 2022. While the streamer is also currently shooting a reality show, based on the fictional contest, and called Squid Game: The Challenge.

What is Squid Game: The Challenge?

Here’s the official synopsis for Squid Game: The Challenge…

With both the largest cast and lump sum cash prize in reality TV history, 456 real players will enter the game in pursuit of a life-changing reward of $4.56 million. As they compete through a series of games inspired by the original show – plus surprising new additions – their strategies, alliances, and character will be put to the test while competitors are eliminated around them. The stakes are high, but in this game the worst fate is going home empty-handed.

The contest will last 10 episodes, and though it doesn’t yet have an official release date, the series is expected to drop sometime this year.

While little else is known about the show at present, Netflix VP of Unscripted and Documentary Series Brandon Riegg assured fans that Squid Game creator Hwang Dong-hyuk is involved.

“Squid Game took the world by storm with Director Hwang’s captivating story and iconic imagery,” said Reigg. “We’re grateful for his support as we turn the fictional world into reality in this massive competition and social experiment. Fans of the drama series are in for a fascinating and unpredictable journey as our 456 real world contestants navigate the biggest competition series ever, full of tension and twists, with the biggest ever cash prize at the end.”  

Casting is now closed for the first series of Squid Game: The Challenge, but if you want to apply for Season 2, head here. While you can check out more Netflix coverage here.