Among Us – why is this internet game so popular?

Among Us – why is this internet game so popular?
Source: InnerSloth

With social interaction being at an all-time low due to the coronavirus pandemic, Among Us appeals to young teenagers and millennials who want to stay connected. Developed by InnerSloth, Among Us is a multiplayer party game where up to 10 players work together as a spaceship crew preparing for a departure. However, some of the crew are alien impostors aiming to kill the crew and sabotage the spaceship.

As the impostors try to kill crew members, the other players are assigned various tasks and can discuss who to evict as a suspected impostor. If the crew votes out all the impostors, they win the game. But, if the impostors manage to kill most of the crew, they claim victory and successfully sabotage the ship.

Among Us reaches viral status

Although the premise is similar to games like Werewolf and Mafia, Among Us has seen massive growth this year, earning 18.4 million mobile downloads in August. This was eight times more than their July downloads of 2.4 million. Despite recording a substantial number of downloads in August, the game has already experienced double the growth this month – amassing more than 41.9 million mobile downloads in September so far.

Suitable for many types of consoles and devices, the game is also currently one of the most popular games on Steam. What is surprising about this sudden popularity of the indie game is that it’s relatively new. The game’s first version released in June 2018, meaning the game is just over 2 years old.

A number of avid Twitch streamers have spread the word and increased the popularity of this addictive, interactive game. Popular YouTubers and Twitch streamers like PewDiePie, Ninja, Shroud and more have played the game on their platforms. On top of the massive numbers the game is achieving on streaming platforms, InnerSloth reported a concurrent player count of more than 1.5 million.

Among Us keeps people connected

The sheer popularity of Among Us can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, as it allows players to connect with their friends amid social distancing. Memes have also pushed the game’s success, flooding sites like Twitter and Reddit and stirring up viral interest and curiosity.

The game requires players to think of nuanced strategies for winning, especially for those impostors planning the elimination of crew members. This increases the game’s replayable value. To prevent being evicted as an impostor, it is important for players to remember the entire layout of the spaceship so that when it comes to discussing who to evict, they are able to justify why they deserve to stay in the game.

There were plans for an upcoming sequel, but InnerSloth recently announced its cancellation,  choosing to continue to improve the original game instead. The original decision for the game’s sequel was due to the sudden spike in its popularity, which left the developers overwhelmed by the response. InnerSloth wrote:

“The main reason we are shooting for a sequel is because the codebase of Among Us 1 is so outdated and not built to support adding so much new content. However, seeing how many people are enjoying Among Us 1 really makes us want to be able to support the game and take it to the next level. We have decided to cancel Among Us 2 and instead put all our focus into improving Among Us 1. All of the content we had planned for Among Us 2 will instead go into Among Us 1."

Among Us is available to play on iOS, Android and PC.

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