When Squid Game was first released back in September, only the executives of Netflix had any idea of how popular the survival series would become. They knew it would be a massive hit of course, but were completely oblivious to what would become of Squid Game’s success – particularly outside of Asia.
Netflix boss Bela Bajaria said that they knew Squid Game would become a hit show before it was released in an interview with Variety. Unbeknownst to Netflix, Squid Game would become one of their biggest TV shows and capture a staggering 2.1 billion hours of streaming.
“We knew it would be a big regional hit,” Bajaria told Variety. “Our team in Korea always said this would be a big tentpole for us. [They knew] it would do very well in Korea and all through Asia.”
She also mentioned that Netflix did not expect the level of success that would eventually become Squid Game’s reality. “We couldn’t imagine or anticipate this because it’s never happened before. It’s so hard to imagine something to this kind of scale,” the Netflix boss added.
The hit show, which was initially meant to be a film, had its script finished in 2009 and struggled to find funding until Netflix took interest in the Korean show nearly ten years later. When talking about the goals for Squid Game, creator Hwang Dong-hyuk told The Guardian, “When I was working on the project, the goal was to rank No 1 on the Netflix US chart for at least a day. But it ended up being much more successful, the most-watched show on Netflix ever. It’s very surprising. It shows that the global audience is resonating with the message I wanted to reflect.”
Squid Game has since won a nice selection of awards, including a Gotham Award, People’s Choice Award, and even nominations for the 79th Golden Globe Awards. The show easily secured wins for best breakthrough series, binge-worthy show of the year, and best score and will most likely get the green light for their other nominations.