Netflix's Squid Game: The Challenge will premiere on Netflix in November 2023.
Remember that show Squid Game about the horrors of risking your life in a Hunger Games–style elimination for other people’s amusement? Netflix turned it into a Hunger Games-style reality show! According to ComicBook.com, the aptly named Squid Game: The Challenge, a reality competition series based on the Korean drama, will debut on Netflix in November of this year.
The 10-episode series features the biggest lump sum cash prize in the history of reality television—$4.56 million. The odd amount corresponds to the 456 players competing for the prize. Netflix calls the Squid Game reality show its “most ambitious competition series ever.”
Netflix describes their new reality game show as a series of tests players will have to complete based on those featured in the scripted series. For anyone who has seen Squid Game, that concept sounds horrifying in its own right, but the reality series further promises to include some “surprising new additions” meant to push contestants to their breaking points. Netflix considers strategy, character, and alliances the essential virtues required by players in order for them to “survive the tension.”
As if as an afterthought, Netflix also stressed that despite the high stakes, the worst fate any of the contestants will face upon being eliminated will be “going home empty-handed.” It’s nice of the streamer to reassure viewers that the Squid Game reality show won’t feature the loser being violently murdered when they fail like the original version.
Squid Game: The Challenge has already faced several controversies despite not yet airing on Netflix. Earlier this year, the UK version of the reality series was filming a massive game of Red Light, Green Light inspired by the original Squid Game when a number of contestants on the reality show had to be given medical assistance. Two contestants were treated for cold-related ailments related to the low temperatures, and one ran into a wall.
No one was hospitalized, but one anonymous player told a British tabloid that many contestants couldn’t walk due to the cold.
Several other anonymous sources from the Squid Game reality series spoke to Rolling Stone about the competition being “rigged.” One former contestant called the show “the cruelest” thing they had ever experienced, while another claimed that most of the trauma the players experienced on set was a result of Netflix not being prepared to produce a project of this scale. Netflix was also accused of giving social media influencers an unfair advantage during the competition, moving them forward regardless of where they placed in the early rounds.
Netflix, for its part, has denied any wrongdoing and released a statement saying as much. “We care deeply about the health and safety of our cast and crew, and invested in all the appropriate safety procedures,” Netflix said in a statement released to Variety. The streamer further noted that all the contestants in their upcoming Squid Game reality competition were notified beforehand about how cold it was going to be on set and that they were prepared for the unseasonably frigid working conditions.
Viewers can decide for themselves whether the Netflix series was done in a cruel and unusual manner or not when the show premiers in November.