A television show has prevented Netflix from losing subscribers? According to Netflix’s third-quarter results, thanks to its breakout hit Squid Game, Netflix’s global streaming paid net additions doubled year-on-year to 4.38 million in Q3, a solid beat over the expected 3.72 million. What is so magical about this show? Why are people so crazy about it?
We found the answer on TikTok, a video-sharing app popular among young people worldwide: the unique combination of a deadly tournament with childhood games. The children’s games from Squid Game are very simple to play, but contestants are immediately killed when they lose the games. The strong contrast attracts people in the real world so much that they want to “join” the games, too.
Many TikTok users have adapted the “Red Light, Green Light” game and the “Dalgona Candy” game as Internet challenges. Hashtag #SquidGame has racked up over 35 billion views.
Netflix is planning an expansion into the video game market. With the wildly popular “Squid Game” becoming a global sensation, Netflix sees great potential in its video game adaptation. Netflix’s Asia Pacific vice president Minyoung Kim said that “Netflix is trying to create a roadmap for the Squid Game IP, and is looking into developing a Squid Game video game.”
Before Netflix launches any adapted game, a few developers have developed games based on one of the games featured in Squid Game, and some of the games even have topped the App Store rankings. Now with the assistance of SocialPeta, the world’s leading advertisement intelligence platform, let’s see how they achieved their success.
No.1 Gameplay: Red Light Green Light
Among all the children’s games in the show, Red Light Green Light is the most familiar one to the audience. This game goes on with a super-creepy giant schoolgirl robot doll singing a children’s song in a spooky way. As the first survival game in the show, it draws a sharp contrast between children’s games and bloody penalties, much to the audience’s amusement. According to SocialPeta’s data, ads related to “red light” have reached 8534, and basically, all recent ad creatives are related to Squid Game.
Survival Challenge 3D
Among those games, Survival Challenge 3D had topped the rankings of all free games in the USA for 3 consecutive days since its release on App Store on October 12. What is worth noting is that it has very balanced advertising both in countries and on platforms. We know that gamers have a great demand for games adapted from the Squid Game TV show from this game’s performance.
To improve Squid Game fans’ in-game experience, Survival Challenge 3D copied the show’s BGM and gameplay, and it also presented the cash pool at the finish line of the Red Light Green Light game, along with other players celebrating joyously there, to increase players’ desire to clear this stage.
Of course, some games do not feature this gameplay but have added the “Red Light Green Light” element into their ad creatives. Crowd Defense is a tower defense game where the goal is to defend against thousands of intruders. A giant enemy has been added to the game to increase players’ sense of danger. SocialPeta has noticed that in the game’s recent ad creatives, the player control characters have been replaced by Pink Soldiers from the Squid Game, bringing a special tension to the game.
No.2 Gameplay: Candy Game
The second game in Squid Game is called Dalgona Candy where each player must perfectly extract a stamped shape from a dalgona candy. It’s simple and very suitable to be adapted as casual games. It is analyzed as follows, taking Candy Challenge 3D and Dalgona Master as examples.
Candy Challenge 3D
Since its release on October 3, the game has been among the Top 10 most downloaded games, thanks to its simple gameplay and also the trick in its ad creatives.
The Pink Soldiers and the sound of players scratching candies with needles are almost the same as those from the TV show. Especially players’ heartbeat is mixed in the BGM and it quickens whenever there’s a mistake. They all together create a tense atmosphere where players can be immersed in playing the game. Such an immersive experience will effectively attract people to try the game.
Games adapted from the Dalgona Candy game are very similar to one another, so Dalgona Master focuses on playing with self-made dalgona candies, allowing players to play with a higher degree of freedom. And the phrase “new game” has frequently been mentioned in its ad creatives, to distinguish itself from other Dalgona games and raise people’s attention.
No. 3 Gameplay: Glass Bridge
Only a few games feature this gameplay which is mainly about players’ luck. It’s not easy to make good ad creatives. However, Bridge Race Master is very smart in ad creatives. The game focuses on memory, instead of luck. At the beginning of the game, the right route is shown very quickly, and the character in the video walks following the route but pauses at the last step, leaving players wondering and wanting to play the game.
Except for the above 3 children’s games, the other games (Marbles, Tug of War, and Squid Game) in the Squid Game TV show don’t have their own adapted games. K-Games Challenge covers all the games in the show and designed ad creatives for advertising each game. But such collective ad creatives tend to expose the game’s weakness by showing too much. If the game ad creatives are combined with the TV show storylines, their estimated impression might be higher.
So far, the popularity of the Squid Game TV show is declining a little, but related adapted games are still very appealing to the show fans. Without an official video game from Netflix, there’re no main games. If a high-quality game of this type can be launched before the Squid Game sequel is released, it must be a bigger hit. Let’s look forward to it!