By ALAN WANG
Calling for an emergency meeting!
The multiplayer video game, Among Us, was first released in 2018 by an American game studio called InnerSloth. Despite its initial release gaining little mainstream attention, after many popular Youtubers and Twitch streamers started playing Among Us, the game received a sudden influx of popularity. For instance, the game has set new records on multiple platforms with a report on 388,385 players simultaneously playing the game on Steam, while live streams have reached about 100,000 viewers on Twitch alone. The massive growth of the game's traction from its numbers is undeniable, but one question remains: how exactly did this game get so popular?
In addition to the increased amount of mainstream entertainers playing the game, the circumstances of social distancing have definitely played a big role in Among Us’s massive success.
With its own unique twist to the murder-mystery genre, the game is set in a space-like environment that contains a group of crew members with one to three impostors "among" them. With different objectives given to each player, crewmates have to complete certain tasks while the imposters sabotage and kill crewmates while avoiding suspicion. Each time a dead body is discovered or an emergency meeting is called, surviving players have a chance to vote on who they think the imposters are to win the game.
From the game’s description, the popularity undoubtedly stems from following a similar model of the Mafia-style genres. With friends unable to gather in person and have their usual social interactions, Among Us has become a perfect online solution for keeping in touch with friends while at the same time having an excuse to accuse each other of murder.
Furthermore, there are features that allow this game to be especially popular among a wide variety of people. For instance, individuals can have access to Among Us on both a mobile phone and a computer, and the game allows players to interact with each other across devices. Also, in comparison to other popular multiplayer games such as Minecraft, Among Us takes up relatively low storage space. This allows players with poor computers or mobile phones to easily download and enjoy the game. In addition to its convenience and low storage requirements, Among Us also conveniently has a low cost with it being free on mobile and $4.99 on Steam. With all these factors lined up together, the game set itself up for success amongst the masses.
But, from being released in 2018, it was clear that Among Us lacked what all games needed to be successful: promotion.
In the year 2020, the perfect formula for the game has been achieved. Many notable creators have started to pick up on the game. Undoubtedly, its success not only in mechanics but also in entertainment is due to the surprising crossovers of mainstream entertainers. For example, YouTuber PewDiePie can be seen streaming with popular gamers such as Pokimane, Disgusted Toast, and Valkyrae. From beauty guru James Charles to gaming YouTuber Jacksepticeye, Among Us has allowed viewers to watch their favorite creators interact with other influencers that also forms a lot of unexpected but fun dynamics. The celebrity promotion of Among Us has encouraged many to try the game out with their friends in hopes of having the same experience.
Ultimately, due to the massive success of the game, it is expected that the game will receive a sequel. This is significant because the game was not updated much at all throughout the first 2 years of the game’s release. However, InnerSloth has decided to delay the development of Among Us 2 because of the game's current popularity. Arguably, this was the best decision for the company as, by the time Among Us 2 is released, the attention around the first game will slowly decrease, allowing the creators to maximize their profits and efforts to update the current game.
In the end,, the success of Among Us is well deserved. The game has a smart design because it successfully allows a large selection of players to test their communication skills that make for a fun experience. Also, being an online game makes it perfect during this time of social distancing.
Overall, Among Us is a great game, and I would recommend it to anyone with or without gaming experience.