Netflix's mega-popular South Korean drama Squid Game has officially been crowned its biggest series launch ever. The streaming giant announced late Tuesday that the Hwang Dong-hyuk-directed title, which follows a group of people who accept a mysterious invitation to participate in a life-or-death survival game, has been viewed by 111 million accounts globally since its Sept. 17 release, making it the streamer's "biggest series launch ever" and the first Netflix original title to top 100 million viewers within its first month on the platform. Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 1 of Squid Game.
Squid Game's viewing numbers all but obliterated the previous record-holder Bridgerton, which reached 82 million households within the first 28 days of its debut and dethroned The Witcher (76 million views) as the biggest series ever. However, while more than 111 million viewers have tuned into Squid Game since its launch, that doesn't mean they have all watched the entire series from start to finish. Although the streamer is notoriously secretive with its viewing data, it is known that Netflix's figures only take into account users who tuned in for at least two minutes of the series, according to NBC News. A spokesperson previously said a view only counts once an account has watched at least 70% of the episode or film's runtime, including the credits, though warned that the information "should not be taken as a metric for all Netflix content."
Squid Game has officially reached 111 million fans — making it our biggest series launch ever! pic.twitter.com/SW3FJ42Qsn— Netflix (@netflix) October 12, 2021
Squid Game's massive viewing numbers are far from a surprise. Although the show's overall success is a bit of a shock — Dong-hyuk has told numerous outlets that numerous Korean studios passed on the show over the course of a decade before Netflix picked it up — the show has been outperforming on Netflix ever since its debut. Squid Game premiered in the No. 1 spot on the streamer's Top 10 overall chart, where it has remained for a month. As of this posting, the show tops Netflix's list of most-watched shows in 94 countries around the globe. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about Squid Game's success, Dong-hyuk theorized it was due to the current state of the world and the easily relatable characters.
"Well, these days we are, in fact, living in a deeply unfair and economically challenging world. Especially after the pandemic. I mean, there is more inequality, more severe competition and more people are being pushed to the edge of their livelihoods," he said. "Currently, I would say that more than 90% of people across the world will be able to somehow connect and empathize with the plight of the characters that are portrayed in the series. More than anything else, that's probably why the series was such a big success worldwide."
Despite its success, Netflix has not yet handed out a Season 2 order for Squid Game. Should a renewal be granted, Dong-hyuk hinted at some possible Season 2 storylines, suggesting to THR a possible plot could revolve around "the story of the police officer and the story of his brother, The Front Man. So if I end up creating Season 2, I'd like to explore that storyline - what is going on between those two brothers?" Squid Game Season 1 is available for streaming on Netflix.