The most watched series on Netflix Inc NFLX saw people compete in games and competitions for the ultimate cash prize. A total of 456 people competed in children’s games with a chance to win it all, while also unknowingly risking their lives to do so.
A reality competition centered on the Squid Game franchise won’t have people risk their lives but did see medics called in during the filming of the upcoming series.
What Happened: Streaming giant Netflix saw a massive hit in “Squid Game,” which was watched a record 1.65 billion hours by subscribers in the first 28 days of availability and hit number one in hundreds of countries.
“A mind-boggling 142 million member households globally have chosen to watch the title in its first four weeks,” the company said at the time.
Hit series such as “Stranger Things,” “Bridgerton” and the recent hit “Wednesday” have set records for English-language series on Netflix, but all fell short of the massive success globally that “Squid Game” had.
Netflix announced it had a second season of the show coming and it would be releasing a reality show themed around the hit, titled “Squid Game: The Challenge.”
The reality series will have 456 people compete for a cash prize of $4.56 million. The contestants need to be 21 years of age or older, be available for four weeks of filming in 2023 and have a passport, as Benzinga previously reported. Contestants will compete in similar challenges from the original show and new games with the hope of not getting eliminated, but in this case not dying like on the original show.
A new report from Variety said several contestants from the reality series needed medical attention on Monday, Jan. 23 while taking part in a version of Red Light Green Light during the first day of production on the reality competition.
The medical attention came as a cold snap in the U.K. was said to be a shock to the system. Temperatures were below freezing during the filming of the game, according to the report. The filming took place inside a former airplane hangar, which was enclosed, but according to reports was still extremely cold.
Variety reported less than five people needed medical attention, including one person who injured their shoulder after running into a wall. Producers of the show told Variety no one was taken off on a stretcher, shutting down reports of this happening.
A report from The Sun previously said some contestants reported not being able to move their feet and hearing someone yell “medic” during the filming on multiple occasions.
“We care deeply about the health and safety of our cast and crew, and invested in all the appropriate safety procedures,” Netflix told Variety in a statement.
Red Light Green Light saw all 456 contestants compete while trying to only move during the safe green light portion or be eliminated if caught moving during a red light.
The report said only 228 contestants made it out of Red Light Green Light still “alive” in the reality competition.
Why It’s Important: The first season of “Squid Game” was a massive hit for Netflix and remained its record breaker in terms of viewership and engagement. A sequel and the reality show will likely be highly anticipated by fans and the original viewers of the first season.
“Squid Game: The Challenge” is expected to be 10 episodes long and air on Netflix, with a tentative release in 2023.
Popular YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, recreated the challenges of “Squid Game” for an episode on YouTube.
The episode was the most expensive video MrBeast had ever made, costing an estimated $3.5 million. The challenge had 456 contestants compete for $456,000 in a challenge titled “$456,000 Squid Game in Real Life.”
The video was the most viewed in MrBeast’s YouTube career and had over 346 million views. Reports also said the video was the most viewed non-music video on YouTube in its first 24 hours.
“Squid Game” remains a huge pop culture phenomenon that has huge viewership, viral videos on YouTube and TikTok, a “Saturday Night Live” skit and Halloween costumes. Netflix struck gold with the series and could have more chances to boost subscribers and revenue with future “Squid Game” reality content and a second season.
Netflix ended the recent quarter with 230.75 million paid subscribers, gaining 7.7 million in the fourth quarter.
The addition of an ad-tier model could also provide a huge catalyst for the upcoming “Squid Game” content with advertisers likely interested in getting space ahead of this popular show’s second season premiere.