Squid Game Increased Netflix’s Value By $900 Million, But Its Creator Was Earning Just ‘Enough’

News Asia 360
ByNews Asia 360

Hwang Dong-hyuk, the creator of Squid Game, openly discussed his creation and revealed that despite its immense success on Netflix in 2021, he did not become wealthy from it. However, the story behind this seems to have a deeper meaning than just financial gain.

According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, Squid Game has significantly increased Netflix’s internal value by approximately $900 million. Unfortunately for Hwang, he did not retain any intellectual property rights and will not receive any residuals. In other words, Squid Game is now solely owned by Netflix.

What does this mean for Hwang? In a 2021 interview, he mentioned that Squid Game has provided him with enough income to meet his basic needs and gained him considerable fame. However, he is not considered wealthy. On the other hand, Netflix now holds complete ownership over one of the most significant franchises globally.

Due to his long struggle to sell his story, Hwang was highly motivated to sign a contract with the streaming giant. He had been trying for ten years and saw this opportunity as a major breakthrough.

At one time, he had to sell his laptop for $675 to raise funds while living with his mother and grandmother. Eventually, Netflix decided to pick up the show, but in doing so, Hwang gave up all rights and royalties to what would later become one of the streaming platform’s most successful series.

“I’m not getting anything out of it”

Hwang’s story highlights a concerning trend where Netflix has benefited financially from Korean dramas while the creators themselves receive minimal compensation for their work.

Based on the report, residuals are usually negotiated through the Korea Television and Radio Writers Association. However, Netflix does not currently have an agreement with this group in place. In the entertainment industry, it is common for writers to receive their payment upfront. The rates can range from $30,000 to $150,000. However, it’s important to note that writers do not receive any additional payment during the two to three years it takes to create a show.

In response to the LA Times, Netflix stated that they provide fair and highly competitive rates to their K-Content creators. They also established clear standards for their Korean production partners who are responsible for producing all their shows and movies. These standards comply with or even surpass Korean law requirements. According to Netflix, their investments in the Korean film industry have resulted in the creation of numerous job opportunities for local residents, benefitting thousands of people.

Squid Game remains an ongoing phenomenon., continuing to captivate audiences around the world.

Netflix recently announced the cast lineup for the second season of their controversial reality show, which is set to premiere in November. According to actor Lee Jung-Jae, the upcoming season will be larger in scope and thus require more time to produce compared to the first season. Hwang, the creator of Squid Game, has confirmed his involvement in Season 2. While a release date for the second season has not been announced yet, fans can expect more details to be revealed soon.

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