‘Squid Game’ Gains Popularity, Is Netflix’s Biggest Original Show Debut

SEOUL, South Korea — The hit South Korean show “Squid Game” has become Netflix’s biggest series launch ever, beating several high-profile American productions.

The nine-part dystopian drama has attracted over 111 million views since its release on Sept. 17 and has surpassed Netflix’s previous top show “Bridgerton,” which hit 82 million households in its first 28 days of release.

The thriller, in which a group of debt-laden Koreans play childhood games with deadly consequences in a bid to win 45.6 billion won ($38 million), has become a worldwide sensation for Netflix, inspiring countless memes, Halloween costumes of the ubiquitious green tracksuits worn by contestants and real world recreations of the various games.

The show also proved to be popular among investors as popular as it is with viewers. It helped Netflix’s stock reach a record earlier this month, with shares surging 6% since the show’s release. The series’s popularity has also fueled a rally of related Korean entertainment stocks.

Netflix co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told a tech conference in California last month said the streaming service was surprised by how popular “Squid Game” has become.

“We did not see that coming, in terms of its global popularity,” he said.

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