Squid Game (Korean: 오징어 게임; RR: Ojing-eo Geim) is a South Korean survival drama television series streaming on Netflix. Written and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, it stars Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Wi Ha-joon, Jung Ho-yeon, O Yeong-su, Heo Sung-tae, Anupam Tripathi, and Kim Joo-ryoung. The series, distributed by Netflix, was released worldwide on September 17, 2021.
The series centers on a contest where 456 players, drawn from different walks of life but each deeply in debt, play a set of children’s games with deadly penalties for losing, and the chance to win a ₩45.6 billion prize (that is approximately €33 million or US$38 million). Hwang had conceived of the idea based on his own economic struggles early in life as well as the class disparity within South Korea. Though initially scripted in 2008, Hwang had been unable to find a production to support the script until Netflix around 2019 found interest as part of their drive to expand their foreign programming offerings. Hwang wrote and directed all nine episodes himself.
The show received overwhelmingly positive reviews, with praise for its performances, originality, direction, visual style, musical score, art direction, atmosphere, and themes. Within a week, it became one of Netflix’s most-watched programs in several regional markets.