Among Us is nothing short of a pop culture phenomenon at this point and the talk of the town across the internet. The quirky party game has evolved into something much more extensive than frankly anyone could have predicted.
Among Us is available across both PC and Mobile and has steadily been rising in terms of active players consistently over the weeks. Innersloth, the devs behind Among Us, reported a major milestone for the game this past weekend.
According to the devs, Among Us managed to surpass the three million-mark for active concurrent players this past weekend. That is an extraordinarily high number for any game to hit, be it a major AAA title or something like Among Us.
With smaller titles like these charting at the very top, what does that mean for the future of AAA gaming and big-budget games?
Among Us hits major milestone, what does that mean for the future of AAA games?
If 2020 has shown anything, it is that a game need not be a multi-million dollar project backed by a major publisher in order to be hugely successful. The PC market has known that for ages with the constant innovation in the indie genre.
Now, the gaming community is slowly gravitating towards smaller titles that offer quality entertainment. Games like Among Us and Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout are testament to how successful these titles have been.
Several top executives in the gaming industry and most notably former PlayStation boss Shawn Layden have expressed concerns regarding the sustainability of AAA games.
The major sentiment is that the rising cost of game development is a cause for worry.
AAA game development is in serious jeopardy
For context, one of the biggest games this year was Sony's and Naughty Dog's The Last of Us Part II. The game reportedly cost upwards of $100 million to develop over multiple years.
On the other hand, Among Us consisted of a team of 3 developers and had an extremely tight budget to work with.
"At least six years in the making, with a crew of thousands and a budget likely in the neighborhood of $100 million, Sony's The Last of Us Part II could easily be confused with a big-screen action epic."
By now, studios would have taken notice of this trend in gaming and a shift away from the allure of AAA games. Among Us has truly driven home the point that a game can be successful without the millions of a major publisher behind them.
Among Us is available for free on the mobile platform, and a reasonably low price on Steam. This could definitely spell doom for AAA game development as more studios follow in the footsteps.
Another notable example from the recent past; Respawn Entertainment chose to put out Apex Legends, a free-to-play battle royale game instead of Titanfall 3. While the Titanfall brand is still a strong one, the free-to-play nature of Apex Legends and the continued revenue through microtransactions seemed like the better financial decision.