By: Ranya Merchant — International and National News Editor
A new indie video game called Among Us has taken the world by storm, topping the charts in less than a month.
Among Us is a popular, multiplayer video game, created by an indie company called InnerSloth. Although the game only began to gain attention this past September, it was released almost two years ago in June of 2018. The newfound success of Among Us can be attributed to a popular Twitch streamer, Chance Morris, known online as Sodapoppin, who started broadcasting the game over quarantine in an attempt to entertain his 2.9 million followers.
Soon enough other influencers caught on to the trend, skyrocketing its popularity in just a few weeks. On September 28th, Among Us hit 3 million total players across all platforms and is only continuing to grow larger.
“I started playing Among Us recently, in October when I saw everyone around me getting it. I had heard about the craze from my friends, siblings, and the internet, so I wanted to give it a try,” said freshman Malika Angaian.
“I saw it all over TikTok and thought it looked fun,” said freshman Ashley Arias. “When I finally downloaded it, I realized that it’s a very spontaneous game that is great to play with friends,” she added.
Among Us can be played with 4-10 players using a PC or mobile device. Every game starts out with players being dropped onto an intricate alien spaceship that is in desperate need of repair. Each player is randomly assigned a role that is kept secret from the other players. The two possible roles a player can receive are “crewmate” or “imposter.” Crewmates are tasked with fixing the ship by completing a set of minigames called “tasks” which are placed around different parts of the ship.
The job of the imposter is to discreetly kill off crewmates without being identified as the culprit. Users can choose to join public games or create their own private games, making it a convenient way to connect with friends or meet new people remotely.
“The thrill of being an imposter among the crewmates gives me a huge rush of adrenaline,” raved freshman Aastha Patel. “I also love the characters because they are adorable,” she added.
“It truly keeps you on your toes when you don’t know who the imposter is, and the ability to converse with other players makes it even better,” said Angaian.
Despite all of the recent success, InnerSloth’s programmer and business lead, Forest Willard, admitted in an interview that commercializing Among Us hasn’t always been easy. “It didn’t release super well. We stuck with Among Us a lot longer than we probably should have from a pure business standpoint,” he said.
“We tried to quit and should have quit several times. But we got a bunch of feedback, which was pretty great considering the circumstances. So we added online multiplayer, and then at the end of the year, we did a Steam release. By December, 2018, we started to pick up enough players that the game would stay alive 24/7, and that was good enough.” added Willard.
The game’s sudden rise to fame has left many players speculating whether the game will maintain it’s spot at the top.
“Although it has gotten popular very quickly, I don’t think it will stay trending for long. Just like many other trends over quarantine, everyone will spend a crazy amount of time and then just quickly move onto the next thing,” said Angaian.
“All games die out eventually,” said Arias. “It definitely won’t be around.”
Undeterred by these comments, the InnerSloth developers are staying committed to the future of Among Us with big plans for future updates and ideas.
“We’ve worked through a lot of things with each other and made something we’re really proud of,” said Willard. “So now that we’re in the spotlight, we have a lot of trust in each other as we’re growing super quickly and tackling all new problems. And this success opens a lot of doors for us which we’re excited to explore.”