Squid Game: The Challenge – everything you need to know about Netflix’s new game show including contestants, prize money and controversy

Netflix‘s hit show Squid Game may be all fiction but its new spin-off is anything but, as 456 contestants battle it out for a huge cash prize.

Although the sets may look nearly identical to the dystopian Korean drama, its spin-off was filmed on UK shores.

Similar to Squid Game’s killer child-like challenges, contestants of the reality competition will have to endure the same tests and create the same alliances to win.

MailOnline explores everything you need to know about the new and controversial Netflix show.

New spin-off: The gameshow based on Netflix’s hit show is set to hit the streaming platform on Wednesday (pictured from Squid Game: The Challenge)
Big competition: The reality competition show will feature a whopping 456 competitors (pictured from Squid Game: The Challenge)

Prize money

Netflix described the spin-off as ‘inspired’ by the original, but have also promising a whole host of new surprising additions. 

Similar challenges already seen in Squid Game will feature on the show, such as the infamous Red Light, Green Light, Sugar Honeycombs and Hopscotch.

Contestants will also have to battle it out for the jackpot by forming alliances and being strategic in a game of survival as fellow competitors drop off like flies. 

But no need to fret – contestants won’t be putting their actual lives on the line to win the $4.56 million prize.

But with such a huge sum of money up for grabs they are likely to compete as if they were.

Netflix announced the trailer in October, tweeting: ‘Make friends. Make enemies. Make millions,’ adding that the show will premiere on November 22. 

High stakes: The show will host 456 on the new reality TV competition based on the hit Netflix show – Squid Game. The competitors will be battling out for a whopping $4.56 million
Familiar games: Some challenges from the original show will also make an appearance including Red Light, Green Light, Sugar Honeycombs and Hopscotch


Ten episodes of the show are set to appear on Netflix, with its first titled Red Light, Green Light, signalling a huge hint to fans on what is to come.

During each round and episode, competitors will be funnelled into a game hall through a spiralling, multi-coloured hallway while being watched by guards in pink jumpsuits with shapes covering their faces. 

According to Dextero, eight of the 456 contestants have been named:

  • Michael Van Wijk
  • Lee Taylor
  • Theresa Sherron
  • Marcus Harrington
  • Deandre Sipthekid Smith
  • Brian D. Banks
  • Midge Ripoli 
  • Terry Myers 

However, the IMDB page they were named on is no longer active.

Three unidentified competitors spoke out against the show, with claims that they were made to film in zero degree weather for house, according to Variety. 

They stressed that they had not signed up for a Bear Grylls or Naked and Afraid type show and were shocked by filming conditions.

Describing playing Red Light Green Light for six hours, one contestant said: ‘This isn’t a game. 

‘The fun is now gone. You can’t tell people they have to stand in below freezing temperatures in just a tracksuit and two pairs of socks.’

A second alleged conditions were ‘absolutely inhumane’ elaborating that four individuals had passed out during the game’s second round. 

The claimant said they could see one girl faint, hearing her head hit the floor, adding: ‘But then someone came on the [microphone] and said to hold our positions because the game is not paused. After that, people were dropping like flies.’

Stop! The infamous Red Light, Green Light was filmed for a reported six hours, with some contestants hitting out at the show for poor filming conditions

Allegations: One competitor came forward with claims that the conditions were ‘absolutely inhumane’, alleging four people fainted during the games’ second round


The list of controversies regarding Netflix’s new and currently unreleased show did not end with the alleged treatment of contestants either.

Fans were quick to point out that the streaming giant was quick to hand out the $4.5 million prize fresh off the back of the Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild strikes.

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter one wrote: ‘I don’t know how tone deaf you have to be to create this, it’s insurmountable. capitalism at its finest.

‘Also, this is what you pour all your money into instead of properly paying staff? Lol.’

Previous accusations had also been levied against Netflix for not paying the Squid Game series creator Hwang Dong-hyuk residuals, despite the show being among the highest-earning on the platform.

Another chimed in: ‘The creator of squid game not being paid adequately while Netflix continues to profit from it while also missing the whole point of the show. 

‘How anyone can look forward to watching this is crazy.’

Others were disheartened that Netflix had not released a sequel to the original Squid Game, with one writing: ‘We need season 2 of real Squid Game. Please.’

Controversial: People have been quick to bash the show branding it as ‘ignorant’ and ‘tone deaf’
Tone deaf: Some pointed how previous accusations had also been levied against Netflix for not paying the Squid Game series creator – Hwang Dong-hyuk – residuals

‘And yet, what we actually asked for was a second season, not a game show,’ a second commented.

However some fans slammed Netflix as ‘ignorant’ and ‘tone deaf’ for bringing the fictional show to life. 

‘I see you completely missed the point of the series. Good job,’ one quipped.

A second penned: ‘The fact this even exists proves they didn’t understand the point of the actual show – it’s going to be so disappointing how popular this will likely be.’

‘Making a reality game show based a show that critiques capitalism is still super cringe,’ another jabbed. 

‘I hate that this exists,’ wrote one user: ‘Squid Game’s entire premise was a satire of greed, class warfare and exploitation of the working class. So naturally a large corporate entity like Netflix just saw dollar signs $$.’

Squid Game: The Challenge will air on Netflix on Wednesday, November 22. 

Ironic: Other fans were not happy to see the streaming giant be so quick to hand out the $4.5 million prize fresh off the back of the Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild strikes
Missed the point: Other viewers labelled the show as ‘cringe’, stating that they ‘hated’ that it exists
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