Since Squid Game‘s Netflix release on the 17th of September, nearly 250 games have been registered using its name. Over 200 of those were registered last week. I’m betting most of them don’t have Netflix’s blessing, though many of them do use the same themes and art — such as the iconic doll, and prisoners with numbers in games like Red Light, Green Light.
The idea actually sounds quite fun. I wouldn’t mind a Squid Game game. It’d be a bit like Fall Guys but with more nighttime murder, and poorly acted Western caricatures as villains. Clearly some game developers had the same idea, and now a meta battle royale is playing out to see who can best game the App Store SEO.
They’re coming in fast. 17 were registered on Saturday alone.
Begun, the clone wars have.
Some poor boffin at Netflix is going to have a helluva time playing whack-a-mole with all these pop-up Potemkin developers who’ll undoubtedly prove as elusive as an oily, tentacled, fast-swimming creature… Like some kind of, I dunno… Octopus.
The trouble is, the Classification Board changed their website a while back to include its ad-hoc classifications through the IARC app, which allows developers to answer a questionnaire and receive a rating corresponding to their answers. It’s a free submission that puts developers on the honour system, trusting that they’ll be upfront about how much violence, drug use, gambling, etc is in their game.
Perhaps as a result of this process, the vast majority of upcoming Squid contenders are rated G. But lo, there’s one app, Squid Game Challenge: Mortal Doll Survival 3D, that was probably a bit too honest and copped an R18+ rating. Well, as honest as you can be for a game that basically rips of a Netflix show’s entire first episode:
But that’s nothing. Squid Game New Minecraft impressively apes two protected IPs at once. Tic Toe For Squid Games is perhaps the cleverest, leaving out a crucial word to avoid litigation from Big Tic Tac Toe. Squid Game Reverse -Fast could in fact be a “slow” game, and puts me in mind of the clever marketing of Anomaly games, which used a tagline of “reverse tower offence” instead of that drab old “tower defence” genre.
Most of them are similar takes on the Red Light, Green Light formula, some with more decidedly Squiddy themes, and some just using the name recognition as an excuse to make a quick app about playground games.
If you count Squid Run and Squid Chains in the genre of Squid-esque games, the number increases even more.
But many of these may not even see the light of day, given it was free to register and there are so many competitors. It’s perhaps just an interesting look at how the App Store and IARC, as well as the clone-o-sphere in general, is just a little bit broken.
On the other hand… With 200 new Squid Games in a week, that makes Squid the fastest growing genre by far. See, we even made a little chart to prove it:
The Squid genre leapfrogged the status of “minor” subgenres like Soulslikes and became the fully-fledged norm in gaming. More than FPS, more than RTS, more than sports, casual, or puzzle gaming, there is Squid. The Game Awards will be renamed to The Squiddies, and the trophies will create odd silhouettes in winners’ pockets.
Squid is life. Squid is love. Bow to Squid.