After a week online, we can now officially say that Mr. Beast's IRL Squid Game video outperformed Squid Game in terms of raw viewer numbers across its first week than Netflix's actual Squid Game show received in its first month. Mr. Beast’s Squid Game recreation pulled over 139 million views in a single week with 11 million likes, while Netflix bragged about their original Squid Game show pulling 111 Million viewers in its first month, which was their largest launch ever.
Mr. Beast released the $3.5 million dollar video on November 24th, recreating all the games in Squid Game (almost) with 456 real contestants and offering a $456,000 prize pool to the winner. Of course, he didn’t kill eliminated players (as far as I know) but the YouTuber successfully reproduced the look and experience of the show, with incredibly impressive production design and more special effects shots than the Matrix.
Of course, this comparison is a little unfair. For one, Netflix is a subscription service and produced hours upon hours of very high-quality content, whereas Mr. Beast’s video is only 25 minutes, and as impressive as it is, is not the level of quality Squid Game boasts. On top of that, the popularity and interest in Squid Game drove interest in Mr. Beast’s video. But nonetheless, the YouTuber’s ability to draw more views than one of the most successful Netflix productions ever is very impressive.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Mr. Beast's new Squid Game video is the accuracy with which his video team recreated the Squid Game sets. The sets all looked very similar to the original show, especially the Red light/Green light set and the Tug of War set.
The convincing recreation was supported by both practical effects and a very large number of special effects shots.
Mr. Beast hired Matthew Beem and his team to recreate a real, working giant Red Light/Green Light doll. He released a video showing the process of creating the doll.
Mr. Beast hired the YouTube special effects channel SoKrispyMedia to complete the special effects shots. That team was able to finish as many shots as the Matrix had in just 10 days. They released a video showing their process, including showing how they recreated squid game sets in Unreal engine and tracked them to the camera.
While Squid Game itself remains the more impressive accomplishment on many levels, the fact that Mr. Beast was able to draw this amount of attention with his video speaks the shifting landscapes of online media. While Netflix hit a massive win with Squid Game, the ability for someone like Mr. Beast to translate over 130 million views off a Squid Game concept video shows that content platforms like YouTube are becoming more capable of competing with more traditional films and television studios.
Mr. Beast has been escalating his exploits on YouTube over the past several years. The YouTuber and philanthropist started out his career making “excess” videos, like putting a million orbies in a pool, hosting challenges with huge prizes like expensive cars, and hosting massive games like Hide and Go Seek for large cash prizes. His game show focused brand, increasing influence, and escalating resources made for a perfect storm to recreate Squid Game in high definition, especially after he secured a sponsorship with the popular mobile title Brawl Stars to make the video possible.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.