The Ebb and Flow of “Among Us”

The+Ebb+and+Flow+of+%22Among+Us%22

by Brooke Galsky, Reporter

“Among Us”, despite being published by Inner Sloth two years prior, became a massive success in 2020. The game can be recognized by a worldwide audience of all different age demographics. However, even a year after its peak, the journey of “Among Us” within its ebbs and flows is an interesting and inspiring tale to tell.

So, what exactly got “Among Us” so popular? For one, it’s a very simple concept. 

The player is on a spaceship with three to nine other “crewmates,” and among them are “impostors,” whose goal is to eliminate everyone else. When the number of remaining crewmates equals the number of impostors, the impostors win. Meanwhile, the crewmates are assigned tasks to do on the ship like repairing wires. If the crewmates complete their tasks before the impostors obliterate them or they figure out who the impostors are and eject them from the ship, they win.

“Among Us is great for exactly what it is: a simplistic game that allows for insidious tactics, plot twists, and vicious betrayal,” said YouTuber Andrei Terbea in his video about the game’s success. “And no matter how many times you play it, the thrill is unquestionably there.”

Not only is “Among Us” an easy concept, but the game is also incredibly accessible. It’s only five dollars on PC, and it’s completely free on mobile devices. Its graphics and mechanics are minimalistic, so complex computers aren’t required to play. 

Plus, the game’s social aspect within its “emergency meetings”—where players deduct amongst themselves who the “impostors” are—allows for entertaining discussions to play out.

“There’s more natural conversation that arises from it. It’s more of a party game. You’re kind of just hanging out with friends and the game is secondary,” said Ricky Hayburg, writer and host of YouTube culture and tech channel “Internet Today”.

However, just being a good game doesn’t ensure success, demonstrated by the moderate reviews “Among Us” got upon release. 

“Inner Sloth probably owes all the credit for their success to Chance ‘Sodapoppin’ Morris, a Twitch streamer holding the number 27 spot for most followers on the platform,” said gaming reporter Omer Nadeem Awan.

The story goes that video game streaming website Twitch employee Pluto recommended “Among Us” to Sodapoppin, who streamed the game to his 2.8 million followers on Twitch in mid-September of 2020. From there, other popular streamers on the platform followed the excitement, and soon “Among Us” reached its height of fame on Twitch and worldwide.

Though, by November of 2020, “Among Us” started to fall from its pedestal of popularity. 

“The primary reason: it’s a little repetitive,” said YouTuber Cleus in his video about the game losing steam. “‘Among Us’ was an interesting new concept, but there’s not much you can do in it. If you want to play it again and again for a few days, it won’t be that interesting anymore, and you’ll start to feel a little bored.”

Other reasons for the downfall of “Among Us” are the rise of hackers on the game, the lack of new major updates, the cancellation of its sequel, and the upcoming launch of action role-playing game Cyberpunk 2077 (one of the most hyped games of 2020).

Another contributing factor to “Among Us”s fall from grace was the degradation of the game’s memes. At first, memes aided in “Among Us”’s success. As time went on, though, the memes started to become increasingly absurd and cringeworthy, soon evolving into memes that criticized just how oversaturated the world was with the game.

“The game was still being played a lot, but fatigue was showing, especially in the memes,” said Meme Insider editor Phillip Hamilton.

Hope isn’t lost just yet, though. Cyberpunk 2077 was quite disappointing due to bugs, boring gameplay, and a lack of online mode, which allowed “Among Us” to stay afloat. “Among Us” memes started to slow down and move past their absurdist phase. Finally, a new map was recently released with new tasks and gameplay features, and more updates are said to be on the way.

Although “Among Us” may never reach the same peak it did in late 2020, it’s safe to say that the game won’t be expiring anytime soon.