Why Among Us Got Instantly Popular

It’s 2020, the RTX 3000 series was just announced, PS5 is coming out in a few weeks, there are tons of cool games and remasters coming out. It would be a safe bet that the gaming community is relying more and more on graphics and spending more to be able to play these AAA games flawlessly.

Well, Among Us is a living proof that 2D games aren’t dead and all a game needs is good execution to blow up in the gaming industry. Here’s all you need to know about Among Us and why a game that was released in 2018, only became popular two years after its release.

What is Among Us?

Among Us is a social deduction game from an indie developer by the name of Inner Sloth. The game revolves around 4-10 players out of which, 1-3 of the players are imposters while the rest are crewmates.

The goal of the game is pretty simple and straightforward. Crewmates have a bunch of tasks to complete before they get killed. If they complete a task or successfully eject the imposter through meetings, crewmates win. If the imposters manage to kill all the crewmates until the number of imposters and crewmates is equal, the imposter wins.

The game also has certain other elements like sabotages and vents that the imposters can use to tip the scales in their favor. On paper, the game seems perfect. But the game did terribly on release – and this is a huge understatement if you ask me.

Back in 2018…

So, Among Us was first released as a mobile game with only local multiplayer. It was supposed to be a casual party game for Android and iOS. That was the first thing the devs did wrong. With Discord, Team Speak, and every other app on the planet, a group of gamers together in the same room isn’t a concept anymore if you ask me. Nevertheless, the game was released and was getting 30-50 players concurrently.

The designer Marcus Bromander believed that the bad release was due to mediocre marketing which was a factor. Regardless, the company was determined to make it work and kept rolling out frequent updates and even released an online version of the game with a Steam release happening later as well.

It was a hard two years for the developers to keep updating a game that probably was costing them money instead of making them. But this is where big things happened for them and the game picked up a following. Those 30-50 players the game used to have quickly turned into 1.5 million peak concurrent players.

Here’s everything that went right for Among Us and makes it the most popular game in the world right now:

The Memes

To understand everything that owes to the popularity of this game, we’re just going to list the reasons from least to most effective. And, first up, it’s the memes. r/AmongUs blew up at the same time as the game with a flurry of hilarious cross-over memes.

I haven’t been following Twitch and YouTube for a while now so didn’t hear about the game until I started seeing memes. If you don’t get the context, you can ignore a couple of them but with the constant spamming from memes pages across all social media platforms, I started getting curious and finally checked out what the game is all about. And, you know I’m not the only one who did this.

Who knew memes are the perfect unintentional marketing tactic?

Perfect for Quarantine

Quarantine has been difficult for everyone. It’s taken us away from the people that we love and placed us in isolation in our rooms. Even though quarantine is being lifted in various countries across the globe, things are far from normal and we still can’t hang out with friends like we used to.

While other games give you an option to play with 3 or 4 other friends; Among Us supports 10 person lobbies ensuring that none of your friends get left behind. It’s a great game to play with friends online and locally as well.

Compatible with Everything

Among Us can run on everything from an iPhone to a Samsung Fridge, period. As we said a bit earlier, it’s a 2d game that’s made for the gameplay aspect, not for the graphics.

Most of us already have gaming rigs good enough to run games much more demanding than Among Us, but we all have friends that aren’t into gaming, but still appreciate the habit. Even if they can’t cue up with us in games like Modern Warfare, they can still play Among Us with their friends.

Among Us is available on iOS, Android, and Steam as well. The game is free to play on smartphones, but it costs $3-$5 on Steam depending on your region. There is also a cracked version of the game running on separate servers. All the above platforms have cross-play enabled. Even the cracked version of the game can cross-play with the official Steam servers.

The Constant Updates

Inner Sloth isn’t a huge company with hundreds of employees at hand. The company only comprises of three individuals. That’s right – Three people. These three people released the game and gave it constant updates for two whole years without any reward whatsoever. The game barely made any sales on Steam and almost no one was paying for the cosmetics. Inner Sloth still kept the game updated for two years.

Among Us is a game that used to have less than 100 concurrent players and had to rapidly upgrade its servers to accommodate over a million. This is a feat that deserves a standing ovation. Any sane developer would have abandoned Among Us months ago. However, due to their efforts to keep the game relevant, it caught the attention of Twitch streamers, which I’ll talk about next.

Twitch Popularity

Inner Sloth probably owes all the credit for their success to Chance “Sodapoppin” Morris, a Twitch streamer holding the number 27 spot for most followers on the platform. He streamed Among Us on Twitch and the game instantly blew up on that platform.

Streamers like Shroud, Ninja, Tfue, J9, Skadoodle, instantly jumped into the game and people love them. The chance to see ten of their favorite streamers clawing at each other’s necks and lying to them is a source of entertainment like none other. Monkey see monkey do… People instantly picked up on the game. The number of players hiked instantly. And the rest is history…

What’s Next?

Due to the game’s popularity, the devs have announced Among Us 2. There are no details about how it’ll be different from the game we have now. But, judging from how committed the Inner Sloth is to making something people love, it wouldn’ to hold high expectations.

Omer Nadeem Awan

A university student that makes games during the day and plays them during the night. I've been a gamer from the day I got a PS2 and have stayed loyal to the habit ever since.

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