The industry is filled with games that captivate millions on any given day. Call of Duty: Warzone brings out the operatives in droves, Fortnite keeps the sweatiest players building and battling for that Victory Royale, and Minecraft gives people of all ages something to really dig into. There’s no doubt those titles are some of the biggest that gaming has to offer, but another title has managed to go from relative obscurity to a must-have title in the last couple of months.
Among Us released on PC and mobile platforms all the way back in 2018, and did so to very little fanfare. It took the right combination of elements to help the game find success two years later, but now there seems to be no stopping the title. How did Among Us go from a little-known game to million-selling success? Why are people so obsessed with it right now? Just what on earth is the game even about? Those details are almost as engaging as Among Us itself.
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So, what even is Among Us?
The concept of Among Us is a simple one, but it’s the players involved who make the game endlessly entertaining. At the start of a game, you’ll be lumped in with anywhere from four to ten players. At least one of those players is going to be an Impostor, and everyone else will be regular Crewmates. A Crewmate’s job is to complete a set amount of tasks while keeping an eye out for suspicious activity. An Impostor’s job is to blend in with the Crewmates, and eventually kill them off without being detected.
Each round of Among Us can take place on a spaceship, building, or base on a planet. The tasks Crewmates have to perform involve things like emptying a garbage chute, transferring data on a computer, fueling up engines, and so on. These jobs might seem menial, but if an entire Crew can manage to perform all of their given tasks, they’ll end up winning the game. Of course, that’s kind of hard to do when there’s an Impostor running around, doing their best to snuff you out without raising any eyebrows.
Without a doubt, some Crewmates are going to be taken out. If you happen to spot a dead body, you can report it, which forces a group meeting. This is when everyone on the ship that’s still alive is able to come together and discuss what’s happened. This discussion can take place via text chat in-game, or through voice chat with the use of third party software. This is the only time players are allowed to talk to one another, meaning everyone is isolated while traveling about the ship to perform tasks. If you’ve seen something suspicious or have any clues to share on who you think the Impostor is, these reports are the time to open up. You’re also able to call an emergency meeting by using a button located somewhere on the map, which once again takes you to a virtual room where you can chat about your discoveries.
After arguing back and forth with the other players, you can all cast a vote for who you think the Impostor is. If one person gets a plurality of the votes, they are cast out of the game. This is when you find out if they were or weren’t an Impostor. If they are, then the Crewmates win the game and it ends right there. If someone is cast away that wasn’t the Impostor, the game will continue on, and the Impostor is free to wreak havoc once again.
The only way for the Impostor to win is by eliminating enough Crewmates. An Impostor has to get close enough to a Crewmate to kill them, and they have some very sneaky tricks they can employ to do so. Impostors can use things like air vents to travel around undetected, and then pop out and kill a Crewmate when they’re nearby. They can also sabotage elements of the map, like cutting the power, or forcing multiple players to come together to complete a time-based task. When the Crewmates are on their way to handle these situations, the Impostor can slip around the map and cut Crewmates off at the pass to send them to the great beyond.
If you’re a Crewmate, work hard to complete your tasks, and use deductive reasoning during group meetings to try and suss out the Impostor. If you’re an Impostor, do all you can to lurk in the shadows, jump in for opportune kills, and use your elements of sabotage to keep Crewmates running all over the map. Two simple objectives, but endless ways for them to play out. Mix in friends, family, and random strangers for matches, and you can instantly see how Among Us has built unlimited appeal.
While Among Us might be ballooning in popularity right now, that attention didn’t come easy. As a matter of fact, the original launch for Among Us in Summer of 2018 went largely unnoticed. Those who did play the game enjoyed it quite a bit, but with thousands of games coming out every year, it can be hard for all but the biggest games with massive marketing campaigns to get a sliver of recognition. Among Us had to find its success organically…and with a bit of luck.
Among Us did get little blips of interest here and there after its launch, but things remained rather quiet for years. The key to the game’s current success ended up coming from the combination of both streamers and word of mouth. It wasn’t anything the team behind Among Us had planned for, but it was certainly a welcome situation.
The moment when Among Us first started to take off was birthed by Twitch streamer Sodapoppin. The mega-successful streamer decided to play the game for his audience, which lead to thousands upon thousands of people getting eyes on what it was all about. Sodapoppin’s streams for the game continued to grow, and other streamers noticed the attention. That’s when other huge streaming personalities like Ninja, Shroud, CallMeCarson, xQc, Pokimane, and more started to stream the game as well. This led to millions of people learning about Among Us, and they wanted to play the game for themselves.
Sodapoppin’s first streams for the game started in July 2020. From then on out, Among Us has been dominating Twitch streams, bringing in insane viewership. All that attention just fueled interest in the game that much more, pushing word-of-mouth out into even bigger corners of the internet. YouTube videos were cropping up minute by minute, Reddit was flooded with posts about the game, and you could find non-stop chatter about Among Us on Twitter and other social media platforms. The growth was quick, and equally exponential. Now, the vast majority of people either know what Among Us is, or they want to find out.
The future of Among Us
InnerSloth, the team that created Among Us, had originally planned to create a sequel in order to implement new features, and hopefully drum up some more attention the second time around. Obviously this was decided before Among Us ended up taking off. Now that Among Us is a phenomenal success that’s still growing daily, InnerSloth has shifted gears.
InnerSloth has since announced that they’ve ended development of an Among Us sequel. With the original game only just finding its major success, there would be no sense in killing it off in favor of a follow-up. Instead of moving onto the next installment, InnerSloth has announced that they’ll be redirecting all their ideas to the original game. Players can look forward to new maps, tasks, gameplay mechanics, and much more as the months roll on. This should ensure that Among Us will have fans for years to come, while enticing countless others to see what all the fuss is about.
Just remember, make sure you keep your eyes open when playing, because that crewmate working at your side could end up stabbing you in the back!
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Kevin Cassidy has been covering all things Nintendo for over 15 years now and has been leading the weekly GoNintendo Podcast for just as long. Kevin is also quite passionate about pro wrestling, anime, comic books, and more! Follow Kevin on Twitter via @GoNintendoTweet.