Who can you really trust? This simple question can be found at the core of the world’s greatest suspense tales. And In the last 6 months, Indie sensation Among Us brought that suspense to twitch with its manic, paranoia fueled gameplay. In Among Us, your closest ally in one game can be your predator in the next. The game keeps players increasingly distrustful of their friends, especially the ones that are the best liars. From Pokimane to Pokelawls, content creators of all sizes and scenes have made their way to Among Us, pitting themselves against friends and fellow streamers for the entertainment of millions. But what made this sleeper hit of a title get so popular? Unlike many other popular titles on Twitch, Among us doesn’t offer much in the way of mechanically or mentally intense gameplay.
It’s basically the perfect definition of a casual party game, a genre that usually doesn’t see a lot of love on twitch, much less sit at the top of the charts for months at a time. So what exactly is behind the rise and success of Among Us?
But, before we can talk about how it took over Twitch, we have to go back to 2018 when Among Us was first revealed to the world.
The game was created by InnerSloth, an indie studio composed of three individuals, Marcus Bromander, Forest Willard, and Amy Liu. Originally, Among us was designed to blend the suspenseful socially based gameplay of live action party game “Mafia” with sci-fi aesthetics and horror themes reminiscent of movies like John Carpenter’s “The Thing.”
Upon launch Among Us only saw release on mobile devices, and lacked the online gameplay that it’s known for today, instead opting for a purely LAN based set up requiring a group of friends to be in proximity to play. While this system certainly created an experience much more akin to the traditional Mafia game, relying on gathering ten people in a room to play your game is a tall order, and it showed in the player base.
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