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Squid Game - An Inevitable Success Story

Recently, there has been a boom of media attention around a very unusual sounding show. Squid Game has been the talk of the town, and not knowing the show is almost unheard of. You’ve probably been asked, “Have you seen Squid Game yet?”, “Who's your favorite character?” and “Which episode was your favorite?” While it’s understandable that a Netflix show is popular, it begs the question: How did it get so popular in such a short time?

While it’s always nice to see another hit show with a similar genre, it’s been a surprise to everybody that the concept of Squid Game has become so popular. Most of the time, we see Netflix pump out the same genre like Comedy because the concepts are so prone to success, but Squid Game is far off the mark, as it consists of violence, death, and gore, which (needless-to-say) doesn’t fit the demographic of most Netflix viewers. Most shows try to fit in the range of all ages like, Stranger Things, which was very successful, but ever since Stranger Things, no show has had the ability to top it. So how was Squid Game able to finally do it?

A big part of the recent success and growth of Squid Game has been the media that surrounds it. The news that we’re exposed to on a regular basis has made the overly-exacerbated violence of the show seem normal compared to other times, and because of that, Squid Game has had a ton of room to grow with new violent and dystopian narratives. With access to such negative news and media, these concepts don’t seem very outlandish, but rather interesting to see, as it could be a possibility in the future. What also helped push the narrative is the economic issues that people face and how they’re forced to go to such extreme lengths, which is relatable to many people, and it gives the viewer a hope of something like that happening to them. These concepts are likely to push people to want to know what comes next as every episode leaves the viewer with a cliffhanger which can be hard to leave off on. Stranger Things had some of the same cliches, but because of the pandemic and general dysphoria around the world; Squid Game had the perfect setting of success for a dystopian concept, which can be considered why it had finally made the jump past Stranger Things.

Now that it has passed Stranger Things and every other Netflix series, how has it gone so above and beyond anything else? Looking at graphs, it looks almost absurd how off the charts Squid Game is. The google search volume index (peeked interest indexed at 100) is the best graph to reference, as it gives a great visualization of how Squid Game has basically doubled the searches of previous shows before. Another great visualization of the popularity is the Korean Media stocks that went from rated at about 2500 won per stock to about 5000 won per stock, which has been the single-handedly largest increase of a stock for a TV show in only 8 days. While these numbers are basically unheard of for a TV show, there’s good reason for it. Squid Games is a vastly dubbed show across the world, giving the entire world access to the show.

It may seem confusing at first why Squid Game reached such an insane level, but when every aspect is considered, it actually makes a ton of sense why such a violent show could become known worldwide in such a short time. The idea was such a perfect pitch for the current state of the world, and some of the underlying messages really apply to our everyday lives, so to many, the show was even somewhat relatable, giving them a familiar feeling while binge watching the show. So, while the show is not for everybody, it’s certainly worth a watch, and I’d recommend that you watch the show and try to take in some of the hidden messages of the show.

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