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Why is Among Us so popular?

(Image Credit: Film Daily)
(Image Credit: Film Daily)
Izaak
ANALYST
Modified 08 Oct 2020, 21:23 IST
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With Among Us suddenly becoming one of the giants of gaming over the span of just a few months, quite a few of you are asking why Among Us is so popular. To some degree, that question can be broken into a few parts, so let’s take a look.

Part one: Why is Among Us so popular right now?

It’s hard to remember that Among Us was released in the middle of 2018 instead of just this last August. The reason for Among Us experience a surge of delayed popularity is fairly well known by now though, the game was showcased by quite a few well-known streamers and word-of-mouth did the rest. Additionally, because no other game seemed to fully capture what Among Us had done, it was still the best version of that kind of game.

This popularity is holding firm because, for all but a very small handful of players, the game is still new. The novelty of the game, and the fact that its closest competitors include Werewolf and Town of Salem, mean that Among Us fills a niche and does it better than everyone else, and will therefore remain popular until people decide to move on from the game, or another game fills that niche better and siphons its audience away.

Part two: Why is Among Us popular in general?

Of course, just because a game is unique doesn’t mean that it’s good. And to some extent, being in the right place at the right time can result in more success than being strictly better. For Among Us, the game has enough pure quality to be an enjoyable game, either with friends or with random players online, but it has also benefited from the unique circumstances of 2020.

Among Us is a game that feels fun to play even just in both short and long bursts, and it doesn’t demand such a large time commitment from you that you can’t leave if you should decide to do something else. 

Additionally, with the 2020 pandemic in full swing, and looking like it might last several more months, many gamers have been looking for interesting and novel games to fill their time. Among Us fit both of those categories, while also costing anywhere from cheap to free depending on where you preferred to play. This let millions of people pick up the game, whereas a more expensive game might have been ignored.

Part three: Why did Among Us become so popular so suddenly?

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Lastly, Among Us owes a fair amount of its current success to, paradoxically, its own success. Multiplayer games like Among Us are much more fun once they have achieved a critical mass of players. When Among Us only had 100 concurrent players, it might have been hard to justify picking the game up, but with 1,000 it becomes much easier to find and play games.

As the numbers climbed, first to 10,000 then 100,000 and 1 million and onward, the prospect of being able to find a game, and playing it under your optimal conditions, became easier and easier. If you like to play the game a specific way, finding 9 people from a pool of 4 million players who like those settings is much easier than if there were only 100 other players.

With everyone able to play the game their way, and with a playgroup they enjoyed, the game exploded in popularity, peaking at roughly 4.5 million players.

Published 08 Oct 2020, 21:23 IST
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