Squid Game Creator Explains Meaning Behind The Name And Why He Picked The Ultraviolent Game

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on : 29 Sep 2021 07:55
Squid Game Creator Explains Meaning Behind The Name And Why He Picked The Ultraviolent GameNetflix

The creator of Squid Game, which landed on Netflix earlier this month, has revealed the inspiration behind the game and the meaning behind its name. 

Having launched on Friday, September 17, the show achieved a perfect critics’ score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes on its first day on the platform.


The South Korean action drama is a nine-episode series which has left audiences utterly gripped, going on to become the most-watched programme on Netflix across the globe, according to the Radio Times. 

Squid Game (Netflix) Netflix

The show’s creator, Hwang Dong-hyuk, has since revealed his inspiration for the game and its title, which despite the series’ harrowing nature, actually stems from his childhood.

In the series, a group of 456 people risk their lives for the opportunity to win ₩45.6 billion and are invited to win the money through a dystopian survival competition: cue all fans of The Hunger Games sprinting to grab their remote.



The inspiration for the unusual title came from a game that Dong-hyuk used to play as a child ‘in the schoolyard or in the streets of the neighbourhood’. He told the Radio Times how the series ‘is a story about people who used to play this game as children and return to play it as adults’.

He said:

It was one of the most physical and it was also one of my favourite games. I felt that this game could be the most symbolic children’s game that could represent the kind of society we live in today.


The final draft of the script for Squid Game was completed by Dong-hyuk in 2009 and was inspired by his reading of ‘a lot of comic books’. He noted how ‘at the time, it seemed very unfamiliar and violent’.

‘There were people who thought it was a little too complex and not commercial,’ he explained.

Dong-hyuk wasn’t even able to get enough people to invest in the series and said how casting ‘was difficult’. So when he started developing the project in 2008, he had to ‘dabble’ in it before ‘put[ting] it to sleep then’.


However, over 10 years later and the project was finally picked up by Netflix. Considering it has left people binge-watching at home and maintained a 100% tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes, I’d say it was definitely worth the wait.

Squid Game is streaming on Netflix now. 

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Topics: Film and TV, Netflix, Now, South Korea


Radio Times
  1. Radio Times

    Squid Game creator reveals meaning and inspiration behind title