Is Squid Game Based on a True Story?

Netflix has a surprising mega-hit on its hands with South Korean production Squid Game, which has wowed fans all over the world with its dark and, at times, horrific plot.

The survival horror series follows a group of people in difficult situations who are brought together by a mysterious mastermind to compete in warped versions of traditional children's playground activities.

If you fail the challenges, you will die, but if you succeed, you could win a whopping ₩45.6 billion (about £30 million).

As Squid Game has quickly become Netflix's most popular series to date, some fans have wondered if it was inspired by a true story—a disturbing thought!

In a recent interview, designer Hwang Dong-hyuk disclosed that some components were inspired by real-life events. Read on to learn the full tale behind Squid Game.

Is Squid Game based on a true story?

No, The Squid Game is not based on an actual story. Although there were no actual incidents, anime and manga served as inspiration for the show's creator.

In Squid Game, ordinary people are transformed into the gruesome playthings of billionaires, all in order to pay off their debts and emerge with a large sum of money. Its parody of capitalism is not subtle, and while it may echo real-life desperation around the world, it is (hopefully) not inspired by any genuine deadly games – that we are aware of, at least.

Is Squid Game based on a true story?
Hwang Dong-hyuk, the show's creator, told The Hollywood Reporter about its origins. “So back in 2008, I had a script that I had written, which I was running around with trying to get investment, but it didn't work out and it wasn't made into a movie,” he recalls.

“That truly put me in an extremely bad financial situation—I was broke. So I spent a lot of time in comic book cafes reading. And I read a lot of comic books about surviving death games, including comics like Liar Game, Kaiji, and Battle Royale.

“And well, I read some stories about these indebted people participating in these life-or-death games, and it became quite engrossing for me because I was struggling financially myself. I was even thinking that if such a game existed, I would love to join it to make a lot of money and get out of this dreadful circumstance.

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Manga and anime had a significant influence on Squid Game and his overall filmography. “I freely admit that Japanese comics and animation have been a source of great inspiration for me over the years.” When I first started, I was struggling financially and spent a lot of time in cafes reading comics like Battle Royale and Liar Game,” Hwang told Variety.

“I began to wonder how I would feel if I participated in the games myself. However, I considered the games too complex, so for my work, I focused on using children's games.

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