“It wasn’t created to be that big.” This is how InnerSloth, the developer of Among us, about the sudden success of his video game, which has skyrocketed in recent weeks. Only on mobile devices already exceeds the 86 million downloads, leading the ranking of downloads in various application stores. And despite the fact that the video game began to be marketed in 2018, 70% of those downloads have occurred in the last month and a half.
This unexpected success has had practical consequences, such as server problems, who weren’t ready for so many players at the same time. With the aim of “resisting growth”, the developer had announced on his blog a sequel. “It is extremely difficult to add more things without breaking existing ones”, they affirmed then. However, a month later, they decided change your strategy and keep improving the original title. “See how many people are enjoying Among Us 1 it makes us want to support the game and take it to the next level, “the company states.
At the beginning of its journey, in 2018, Among us It was only available for mobile devices and players had to be connected to the same network, which greatly reduced their possibilities. But the development team had a lot of faith in its creation, so they kept reworking it for months based on feedback it received from players. And it was not only a matter of faith, but also monetary. “I think we were lucky to have enough savings to be able to get ahead while Among us it was not sold that much “confessed the programmer Forest Willard in an interview with the specialized medium Kotaku.
Once the game had taken a leap in quality, his team decided to relaunch it on Steam, thus expanding its reach. It was June 2018, and what came next is not entirely clear. First of all, it seems that “someone in Korea found it” and started to make it fashionable, according to the textual explanation to Kokatu by Marcus Bromander, artist, animator, and designer at InnerSloth. Then “a Brazilian youtuber” arrived, whose fans started playing it. And it was growing slowly, until a Twitch star, Chance “Sodapoppin” Morris, which has almost three million followers on this platform, started playing it in mid-July 2020, definitely making it fashionable.
Since then, many streamers Famous people began broadcasting games live on the Twitch platform, with special success among the Spanish public. A recent statistic shows that among the four streamers whose followers have spent the most time watching games, there are three spanish: Auronplay, Ibai and ElRubius. It has also influenced that some media personalities, such as Argentine soccer player Sergio “Kun” Agüero and Belgian Thibaut Courtois, have played it. “Every day that passes I’m more from Barça, man,” exclaimed Ibai after being killed by the Real Madrid goalkeeper in one of the games.
For the three-person team that makes up InnerSloth, the late fame of Among us it’s unheard of. None of his other creations (Dig 2 China, launched in 2015, and The Henry Stickmin Collection, released last August), offer comparable numbers. And it is that in the last weeks, Among us has had more streams on Twitch than well-established, heavily-invested titles like Fortnite, GTA or Call of duty.
The keys to your success
In each game of Among us between 4 and 10 players participate. One or two play the role of impostors, while the rest are crew members. The crew members are busy completing maintenance tasks on a spaceship as a minigame, while the impostors try to boycott the ship and kill their companions without being discovered. Upon finding a corpse or seeing something suspicious, any member can call an emergency meeting – which is done through a voice chat in which all players participate – and vote for who they think is the imposter. In the few minutes that each meeting lasts, the participants debate, point and lie in order to adapt to their roles. Only in the case of reaching a majority of votes is the participant expelled and it is revealed whether or not he is the impostor.
The main virtues of Among us they are the high degree of socialization and the simple mechanics, designed for both regular and occasional players. By basing its rules on other well-known entertainments, such as the card game Werewolves of Castronegro, assimilating them is quite simple. Then you only need a few games to get to know the map and learn the controls, gaining agility.
But where the fun really is is in the meetings, which require all kinds of skills to defend our innocence. Then the group of players changes the strict silence of the rest of the game for anarchy, because in the few seconds of margin to vote for the supposed impostor, they say whatever it takes to avoid being thrown out of the ship. The quality of the accusations and lies thrown in voice chat depends on the victory of one side or the other. This meeting point leads to tense and comic situations at the same time, which encourages anecdotes among the participants.
“It’s like on Twitter, you have to blame people without evidence,” pointed the user Krotz in a review on Steam. “I lost all my friends”, regretted dabeast. But Tomilobito, another player, added: “It’s fun to play it with friends, so you discover that everyone has their dark side, or rather their real side, lies, deception and above all … the desire to kill you.” This and other user comments summarize the love and hate that surfaces in groups of friends when playing Among us.
Added to the simplicity of the proposal is high accessibility due to its low price and the diversity of platforms on which it can be played. In ios and Android the title has no cost, only advertising, while for PC in Steam is at 3.99 euros and in the profile of itch.io from the developer can be obtained for about 5 euros. Also, thanks to crossplay or cross game, each participant can choose on which platform they will play with their friends, so it is not necessary for the whole group to do it in the same system.
Another proof of the success of the video game in Spain is that the networks have been filled with hundreds of memes. Accounts like Among Us Out of Context and Among Us Spain, with more than 100,000 and 10,000 followers respectively, share humorous material, fanarts and daily news. “Follow me or I vote for you …”, says the biography of Among Us Out of Context, a phrase that alludes to the practice with which to find the impostor and expel him from the ship. Other profiles, such as Among Us DISCORD SPANISH, connect through 11 rooms to players from all over the country to enjoy the title.
Either due to circumstances or a stroke of luck, since its rediscovery Among us It has quickly crept to the top of the best-selling video game charts. On Steam, is number one day after day. The title has dovetailed with the pandemic’s encounter restrictions and the pursuit of entertainment within the home. On that subject, Willard indicated to Kotaku that “the current climate, with social distancing, is amplifying the potential that already existed.”