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'Squid Game' reaches 111M viewers, becoming Netflix's biggest debut hit

The nine-episode Korean thriller was released on Sept. 17 and centers on hundreds of cash-strapped people competing in a dangerous game to win a prize.
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Posted at 10:33 AM, Oct 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-13 11:33:17-04

(NBC News) - "Squid Game" has officially broken records, becoming Netflix's biggest series launch by reaching more than 111 million viewers.

The subscription-based streaming service announced the news in a tweet on Tuesday.

The nine-episode Korean thriller was released on Sept. 17. It follows Seong Gi-Hun, played by Lee Jung-jae, as he and hundreds of other desperate and deeply indebted contestants compete in a violent and often grotesque competition for about $38 million. Only one person can win the prize, and those who lose the series of children's games pay with their lives.

"Hundreds of cash-strapped players accept a strange invitation to compete in children’s games,” the description on Netflix reads. “Inside, a tempting prize awaits — with deadly high stakes.”

Among the show's other stars are Park Hae-soo, HoYeon Jung, Heo Sung-tae, Kim Joo-ryoung, Anupam Tripathi and Lee Yoo-mi.

Jung-jae told Variety that he wasn't expecting such a massive response to "Squid Game" when he first signed up for the show.

"But when I read the script, I understood that it contained elements that could resonate with everyone and work outside of Korea,” he said.

The show is a hot topic on social media, where the hashtag "#SquidGame" on TikTok has been viewed more than 22.8 billion times.

According to Flix Patrol, a website that tracks streaming statistics for the top platforms in the world, the show is No. 1 in dozens of countries including the U.S. and the United Kingdom. The series was the top show in South Korea but recently moved to the No. 2 spot, according to the website.