Squid Game is a South Korean survival drama television series created by Hwang Dong-hyuk for Netflix. Its cast includes Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Wi Ha-joon, HoYeon Jung, O Yeong-su, Heo Sung-tae, Anupam Tripathi, and Kim Joo-ryoung.
The series revolves around a contest where 456 players, all of whom are in deep financial hardship, risk their lives to play a series of deadly children's games for the chance to win a ₩45.6 billion (US$38 million, €33 million, or GB£29 million as of broadcast) prize. The title of the series draws from a similarly named Korean children's game. Hwang had conceived of the idea based on his own economic struggles early in life, as well as the class disparity in South Korea and capitalism. Though he had initially written it in 2009, he was unable to find a production company to fund the idea until Netflix took an interest around 2019 as part of their drive to expand their foreign programming offerings.
Squid Game was released worldwide on September 17, 2021, to critical acclaim and international attention. It is Netflix's most-watched series, becoming the top-viewed program in 94 countries and attracting more than 142 million member households and amassing 1.65 billion viewing hours during its first four weeks from launch, surpassing Bridgerton for the title of most watched show. The series has also received numerous accolades, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film for O Yeong-su and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for Lee Jung-jae and HoYeon Jung, respectively, with all three making history as the first Korean actors to win in those categories.
In June 2022, the series was renewed for a second season, which is slated to be broadcast by late 2023 or early 2024. Netflix is also developing a reality competition program based on Squid Game, featuring 456 players competing for a large cash prize.