Among Us is a multi-player game that went viral in the last two months. How did this 2018 game suddenly become so popular?
‘Among Us’, a popular hidden role video game, was created by American gaming studio InnerSloth in 2018. A game that had hardly 50 to 100 regular users in its first year has become massively popular in 2020. According to reports, Among Us had 1.5 million simultaneous users in the first week of September. The rise is massive when compared to its struggle in the infancy stage.
How to play Among Us?
Among Us is a multi-player social deduction game. It is available on ioS, Android, and Steam. The game works best when you play with 4-10 friends. Among Us takes place in a space-themed setting with lots of rooms where each player takes on one of the two roles — a Crewmate or an Impostor. Each Crewmate has to finish his assigned tasks. The impostor’s duty is to secretly kill each Crewmate and sabotage their tasks.
The Crewmates can call for a meeting if they see a dead body. In the meeting room, they can discuss who is the impostor. This can be deduced if they see a murder or based on the movement of the impostor.
There will be voting at the end of the meeting. If the impostor gets the most votes, he will be kicked out of the spaceship and the Crewmates win the game. If a Crewmate is wrongly kicked out as the Impostor, the game resumes and the Impostor can continue his killings. The murdered and kicked-out Crewmates can continue their tasks as ghosts to help others, but they cannot communicate with the ‘living ones’. The Impostor wins if he can successfully sabotage others’ tasks or kill everyone.
How did Among Us become popular?
Although it was created in 2018, Among Us became popular in 2020 partially because of the rise in gaming activity during the lockdown, and also due to the various memes and YouTube content the game created. Among Us also became hugely popular on Twitch, where video games are streamed live.
The battle between Crewmates and Impostors creates lots of funny videos. It could be a case of Impostor stupidly killing someone in front of other Crewmates or a Crewmate blindly trusting an Impostor before being killed. There is a huge fan following for Among Us memes and videos on Twitter and TikTok worldwide.
On TikTok, fan-made animations or stories poke fun at familiar scenarios that occur while playing — like feverishly denying that you’re the imposter, only to get ejected from the ship anyways — and also craft new narratives that add an entirely new element to Among Us.
The massive rise in popularity has even surprised the creators of the game. While initially released in 2018 to little mainstream attention, it received an influx of popularity in 2020 due to many well-known Twitch streamers and YouTubers playing it. In response to the game’s popularity, a sequel, Among Us 2, was announced in August 2020. However, a month later in September, the planned sequel was cancelled, with the team instead shifting focus to improving the original game.