Perspective: Squid Game Proves Netflix’s Success More than Anything
Squid Game blew up because of Netflix’s success. This is why it was rejected 9 years ago because it was unoriginal, and we didn’t have a market that was going to turn its brain off and not focus too hard on the unrealistic writing. But this isn’t a critique, more so a different take on the series’ success. It’s a series I enjoyed to some degree, but just not one I believed would blow up considering the competition.
This wasn’t studios being bad. There are other better shows, anime, manga, and movies out there that do everything better than Squid Game. Though, the show does have Netflix’s production quality which works in its favor.
Squid Game worked because Netflix works, and they marketed at the right time. And this happens with a lot of shows and keeps happening as our population grows. This is the same reason why Witcher blew up even though it pales in comparison to the books and the games. These shows definitely have entertainment value, and that proves the point of the Netflix’s model.
I like to call this the Fornite effect. Where a company grows big enough (Epic, Netflix) in a casual atmosphere that it throws out so much quantity (while focusing on quality previously) that something every month or so hits. Not always as big as Squid Game or other obvious shows, but we live in a trending society.
It could be a meme, video game, music piece, some theory… We consume what is new and then move on, and usually at the behest of any of the big corporations. That’s just how business works now, and that’s fine.
But the point is, this isn’t any rags to riches or hidden gem story, it’s just a narrative because people love these kinds of stories. It’s easily clickable and shareable, and sadly relatable. The writer/director has done other stuff. And Netflix is at a point where they don’t care, they hope something will be a hit, and that strategy works. Netflix doesn’t market niche shows much and it shows because there are similar and better shows on the platform which never become a sensation, it’s usually just luck.
So, how does this relate to writing? It just shows that the published works usually fall to an average. Most works aren’t necessarily good, but they are marketable. You have to either focus on quality or marketability, it depends on what you want out of your own work.
Everything works on a battle pass subscription, either you dish out constant content or you fizzle out. This can be difficult for specific industries where it’s always one team, but for a company like Netflix which uses others’ content, it becomes quite easy to just recycle profits for bigger profits, and it works because their user base is growing.
Stories aren’t just some thoughts that go on a paper anymore, they are tools and risks to makes companies bigger. There would be no Squid Game without Netflix (or any other obvious replacement). In retrospect, regardless of Nolan’s movies, he still had some quality indie pieces.