Squid Game Makes Nearly $1 Billion For Netflix And The Creator Sees Almost None Of It

Squid Game is Netflix's biggest hit, but thanks to a lop-sided contract, the series creator made no money off of it.

By Jessica Goudreault | Updated

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When the thrilling TV show Squid Game first came to Netflix in September 2021, it was all anyone could talk about. The original and gripping storyline had viewers glued to their TV screens, eager to find out how the show would end. With so many viewers tuning in for the dramatic show, it earned Netflix nearly $1 billion in revenue, and yet the creator of the show, Hwang Dong-hyuk, hardly saw any of those earnings, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The reason Hwang Dong-hyuk didn’t see many of the profits from Squid Game is because of his contractual agreement with Netflix. In their contract, the show’s creator “forfeited all intellectual property rights and received no residuals.” It’s unclear why the South Korean writer and director chose to agree to this, but we assume he must be kicking himself for that now.

If you have not seen Netflix’s Squid Game yet, the plot of the show is quite simple and very intriguing. Set in South Korea, 456 players compete in childhood games like Red Light Green Light, Tug of War, and Marbles, all for the chance to win millions of dollars. The only catch is that if you lose, you die.

Of all of the TV shows that Netflix has created, Squid Game has been one of the most successful franchises for the company. Each of the show’s nine episodes only cost around $2.4 million, yet went on to bring Netflix a whopping paycheck of around $900 million. Squid Game even broke a Netflix record when viewers tuned in to watch 1.65 billion hours in the first 28 days of the show’s release, beating out the previous record held by the hit drama show Bridgerton.

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In addition to earning Netflix nearly $1 billion, Squid Game also took home many impressive awards and accolades. The faux-reality show was nominated for 14 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning six Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series. For their performances, O Yeong-su, Lee Jung-jae, and HoYeon Jung, all won impressive awards, and they were the first Korean actors to win in their respective categories.

Fans of the TV show have been thirsty for more of the thrilling content, so they were elated when Netflix announced that there will, in fact, be a Season 2 of Squid Game. Filming is set to begin this July, so unfortunately, we may have to wait until the end of this year or even until 2024 to see the new season.

The plot of the new season has mostly been kept under wraps, but we do know that several characters will be returning, including the protagonist Seong Gi-hun (Jung-jae), the mysterious Front Man (Lee Byung-hun), the undercover cop Hwang Jun-ho (Wi Ha-joon), and the man who recruited Gi-hun in the first place. There will also be (at least) four fresh new faces in the new season, including Yim Si-Wan, Kang Ha-Neul, Park Sung-Hoon, and Yang Dong-Geun.

The original writer and director, Hwang Dong-hyuk, is coming back on board as the director and executive producer. Hopefully, he has a new contract that will allow him to earn a bigger slice of the pie this time.