An “NFT Collector” Was Dragged For Implying That MrBeast’s ‘Squid Game’ Is Better Than The OG

"Breaking News: Mimicking someone else’s work and latching onto their IP is easier than creating your own world from scratch."

Jon Youshaei Mr Beast Squid Game

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Last month Hwang Dong-hyuk revealed that it took 10 years to make the smash-hit Korean drama, Squid Game. 

In fact, Dong-hyuk actually started thinking of ideas for the series in 2008 but wasn’t able to film until 2020 for a number of reasons, including Korea’s economy taking a dive and the director “economically struggling” himself when the concept first came to him.

But beyond money troubles, Dong-hyuk told IndieWire that the show’s concept — where desperate people with huge debts sacrifice their lives in the hopes of winning a six-stage deadly kid’s game competition for a massive cash prize — was simply “too bizarre” for the late 2000s.

“The concept itself was not realistic at the time 10 years ago. It was too bizarre and people thought it wouldn’t be a money-making film, also because it was violent and there would be some issue with ratings and the target audience would shrink,” Hwang said via translator.

“But 10 years had passed and for Netflix, their distribution system is different from films; they have less restrictions, so I could go about my own way of making this film and I felt less pressure about these issues.”

But regardless of how long the passion project took to get off the ground, Squid Game wound up shooting up the Netflix charts to become the most-watched series of all time on the platform.

However that all means nothing according to Jon Youshaei, a marketer, writer, and “NFT collector” who genuinely thinks that the OG series holds nothing to MrBeast’s YouTube recreation.

“MrBeast’s Squid Games [sic] video: 103 million views in four days. It took seven weeks to make,” the former marketer at YouTube and Instagram tweeted yesterday. “Netflix’s Squid Games [sic] series: 111 million views in 30 days. It took 10 years (!!) to make.”

“More views, less time, fewer gatekeepers. That’s the promise of the creator economy.”

As expected, Youshaei — who claims on LinkedIn that Inc. Magazine said he “cracked the code on how to go viral” — was slammed for even trying to compare an original series to MrBeast’s copy that hinges entirely on Dong-hyuk’s work.

MrBeast was already criticised last week for his $3.4 USD million recreation, which people believe missed the entire point of the series and stripped it of  all cultural significance. This is because despite Squid Game being a direct criticism of capitalism, excessive wealth, and the exploitation of the poor, MrBeast had 456 contestants compete in five of the six original games for a cash prize $456,000 USD.

And even though MrBeast’s real-life Squid Game is on its way to surpass the number of households that watched the OG series — with Netflix recording 142 million and MrBeast currently sitting at 116 million — it’s very clear that MrBeast understands that his video wouldn’t have been possible without Dong-hyuk’s work.

At the end of his video, MrBeast literally told his viewers “massive shout out to the creator of Squid Game” because “we took huge inspiration from the show and I genuinely appreciate you”.

And yet, here Youshaei is congratulating MrBeast for getting “more views” in “less time” despite ripping the bulk of Dong-hyuk’s intellectual property to form the basis of his own “real-life Squid Game”. 

It’s one thing to praise a YouTuber’s production skills or ability to quickly turn around a video, but totally ignoring the fact that Hwang Dong-hyuk both wrote and directed the series alone and came up with all of his ideas from scratch makes no sense. And to essentially claim that MrBeast made a better version of Squid Game that shows the power of the “creator economy” is a slap in the face to everyone who worked on the Netflix series.

Honestly, to even compare the two — with one essentially being a free, 30-minute gameshow in English to an eight-hour narrative fiction in Korean — is just totally off.

At the end of the day, without the original Squid Game that took “10 years (!!)” to make, there would simply be no MrBeast version. And without the success of the original, there would be no interest in MrBeast’s Squid Game either.

So by that logic, MrBeast actually took 10 years and seven weeks to make his copy show which is much less impressive.