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Netflix just announced a Squid Game reality show — what we know so far

Squid Game officers in the show monitor contestants
(Image credit: Youngkyu Park)

Netflix, it seems, is in the Squid Game business. While we're currently waiting to see if Squid Game season 2 is actually a good idea or not, Netflix just announced it's greenlighting Squid Game: The Challenge, a reality competition show based on the competitions in the popular show.

And it's got some familiar numbers, too. Squid Game: The Challenge will go for excess, with the largest number of cast members and the largest lump sum cash prize ever in reality TV. Just like in the show, 456 real players are going to be competing for $4.56 million USD. 

There is, thankfully, one difference between Squid Game the show and Squid Game: The Challenge. To quote Netflix's announcement "The stakes are high, but in this game the worst fate is going home empty-handed." Which is a polite way of saying "we won't kill anyone, we promise!"

Contestants will go through games inspired by the show as well as new competitions. Of course, Netflix is looking to get the Squid Games vibes right, as it's declared that "strategies, alliances, and character will be put to the test."

How to sign up for Squid Game: The Challenge

As of right now, Netflix is opening casting to all English-language speakers, no matter where in the world they are. You can sign up at SquidGameCasting.com (opens in new tab).

The competition will be aired as a 10-episode competition series. It's a co-production between Studio Lambert (the folks behind The Circle) and The Garden (24 Hours in A&E). It will be filmed in the United Kingdom. 

Analysis: Of course Netflix is doing this

While you might think a Squid Game reality show misses the point, we're not exactly surprised to see it happen. Netflix still touts Squid Game as its "most popular series of all time," citing "over 1.65 billion view hours in the first 28 days after its September 2021 premiere." Take that, Stranger Things 4.

We have no idea how long it will take for Squid Game season 2, as we've only recently seen the official confirmation that this season is happening. Director Hwang Dong-hyuk confirmed that he and multiple other cast members are coming back.

So, while we wait, we don't know how Netflix will create more Squid Game content. We can only expect Squid Game content to continue until subscriber numbers improve.

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Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.