In Netflix’s fourth quarter 2021 earnings interview, Sarandos said there "absolutely" would be a season two of the show, a violent South Korean survival drama that has scored as the company’s No. 1 most-viewed TV series.
"The 'Squid Game' universe has just begun," Sarandos said.
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 a second season slated for March, and "Stranger Things," with season four coming this summer.
“Squid Game” is Netflix’s biggest show by a long shot based on the streaming platform’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 one, 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).
Previously, "Squid Game" creator Hwang Dong-hyuk had said the the hit series would be returning.
“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 Associated Press 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 lead actor Lee Jung-jae will return as main character Seong Gi-hun.
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.
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 first quarter subscriber growth and acknowledged that rivals may be hurting customer acquisition.