MrBeast’s ‘Real Life Squid Game’ And the Price of Viral Stunts

MrBeast’s ‘Real Life Squid Game’ And the Price of Viral Stunts

Then there was “Squid Game,” the Korean psychological thriller that became Netflix’s most watched series ever, with 142 million viewers. Everyone is buzzing about MrBeast’s reenactment of the show’s title fight-to-the-death, which has racked up 142 million views in only eight days. (Do not worry; nobody was hurt.) 

MrBeast, a 23-year-old who was just voted YouTube’s Top U.S. Creator for the second year in a row, created sets and produced costumes for 456 participants to make the video appear as close to the Netflix program as possible. 

Moreover, much as in the popular TV show, the final person remaining would earn a life-changing monetary reward – in Donaldson’s case, the prize pool was $456,000. There are several reasons why Donaldson’s “Squid Game” is nearly as popular as “Squid Game” itself in terms of views. For starters, YouTube is free, but Netflix is not.

Donaldson’s virality, though, comes with a price. On Twitter, he revealed that his 25-minute video cost $3.5 million to produce. In comparison, Netflix spent $21.4 million on the nine-episode series, averaging out to around $2.4 million each hour-long segment. Even the most well known YouTube producers, like as Donaldson, lack the resources that publicly listed, a worldwide firm like Netflix possesses. As a result, it is becoming more difficult for filmmakers like Donaldson who make frightening, stunt-based films to achieve anything new, such as repeating “Squid Game.”

If you have not seen “Squid Game” since it released in September, here is the premise: Why not fight to the death for the opportunity to gain unfathomable fortune if you are in so much debt that you will never be able to pay off.

This filmmaker Hwang Dong-response hyuk’s to South Korea’s debt issue, but foreign audiences will understand – the United States has $1.73 trillion in student debt, up 91 percent in the previous decade. If you have ever worried that one terrible dentist visit may wipe out your life savings, you will understand these characters’ desperate need for cash.

In “Squid Game,” it revealed that the games established by a ring of affluent elites for their own amusement – why not pay impoverished people to fight to the death if they agree to the game’s terms.

MrBeast’s videos, on the other hand, perform the same thing in a significantly less violent way. He distributes big quantities of money to regular people, entertains millions of viewers with his kind of performative generosity, and then profits from their attention.

MrBeast’s “Squid Game” video, however, lacks the emotional impact and tension that made the Netflix episode so engaging – the stakes felt about as high as a daytime replay of “Wheel of Fortune” since the participants aren’t in danger. 

Donaldson, on the other hand, has pioneered — and refined — this sort of YouTube content; do something wildly stupid, and people will watch, because on YouTube, time spent watching equal money. However, pursuing this strategy at an expense of capturing consumers’ attention necessitates a steadily growing expenditure over time.

As the creator economy increases, so do the budgets of some YouTubers. However, given the unstable nature of this job, going into the red might be risky. While Netflix’s “Squid Game” has produced at least $891.1 million (almost 42 times its budget), Donaldson’s “Squid Game” investment may not recouped.