On Netflix’s fourth quarter 2021 earnings interview, Sarandos was asked whether there would be a second season of the violent South Korean survival drama, which has scored as the company’s No. 1 most-viewed TV series.
“Absolutely,” Sarandos replied. “The ‘Squid Game’ universe has just begun.”
He put “Squid Game” in the category of Netflix’s burgeoning bouquet of entertainment franchises that the company sees as having growth potential outside the core streaming service, with live experiences, games and merchandise. Sarandos called out “Bridgerton,” the second most-viewed Netflix original TV show, with the Season 2 set to bow in March, and “Stranger Things,” with Season 4 slated for this summer.
Previously, “Squid Game” creator Hwang Dong-hyuk had indicated that the hit series would be returning for a Season 2.
“There’s been so much pressure, so much demand and so much love for a second season. So I almost feel like you leave us no choice!” Hwang told the AP last fall. “But I will say there will indeed be a second season. It’s in my head right now. I’m in the planning process currently.”
Hwang also said that lead actor Lee Jung-jae will return as “Squid Game’s” main character, Seong Gi-hun.
“Squid Game” is by a long shot Netflix’s biggest-ever TV show, based on the streamer’s calculation that subscribers worldwide streamed 1.65 billion hours of the show in the first 28 days of its release on the platform. In Season 1, 456 cash-strapped contestants are invited by a mysterious organization to compete in a series of children’s games — with deadly consequences — to win a piece of the ₩45.6 billion prize pool (about $38.5 million).
The series made history at the 2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards by becoming the first non-English-language series and first Korean series to score a nomination, for cast in a drama series, actor in a drama series (Lee Jung-jae), actress in a drama series (Jung Ho-yeon), and stunt ensemble.
In addition, “Squid Game” won three Golden Globe Awards, including best TV drama, and earned O Yeong-su a supporting actor trophy. The show also nabbed three Critics Choice Awards nominations and a Gotham Award win for breakthrough series.
Netflix paid $21.4 million for the first season of “Squid Game” and has estimated the series will deliver $891 million in what it calls “impact value,” per confidential internal data that was leaked to Bloomberg.
As of the end of 2021, Netflix tallied 221.8 million subscribers globally. But shares of the paid-streaming leader plunged Thursday after the company forecast slower-than-expected Q1 subscriber growth and acknowledged that rivals may be hurting customer acquisition.