Though streamers and the Internet gaming community at large has seemingly moved on to new obsessions like Iron Gate AB's Early Access survival game Valheim, there are still many players invested in Among Us. The game exploded in popularity amid COVID-19 lockdowns last year, to the extent that people watched over 200 million hours of Among Us on Twitch just in the fourth quarter of 2020. However, this popularity came two years after its release, and today developer Innersloth revealed the social deduction title looked very different in its infancy.
That Among Us was a cultural phenomenon online is hard to overstate. Its reach became so big that television personalities like Conan O'Brien reviewed Among Us, and US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez famously played the game on Twitch as a voting rally for the 2020 Presidential election. In fact, the game became popular enough that Innersloth abandoned its plans to create a sequel, instead focusing on adding new content to the original.
A post on Innersloth's official Twitter account today says that "everything still feels super unreal," and expresses an interest in sharing stories from the game's original development. It comes with a 10-second clip of Among Us gameplay set on the Skeld map that was recorded in 2018. Overall it's clear the developer had its basic concept figured out, and the video includes an early version of the "Simon Says" task, but all the graphics are rudimentary.
Among Us superfans should appreciate this peek at the early days of development, but some in the comments of that tweet have expressed frustration at the lack of announced progress on the upcoming Airship map - first revealed at The Game Awards 2020. Innersloth discussed why Among Us updates are taking so long last month, saying it was difficult to shift back into development on the original game after scrapping its sequel.
The game has not been entirely silent, of course. Small updates have added accessibility features, for example, and Among Us was released on the Nintendo Switch as well as made available through Xbox Game Pass in recent months. With the promise of more content on the way, it's clear Innersloth is not resting on its laurels.
That being said, much of the world has moved on to play other games during the long wait for Among Us' next map, which is based on the studio's prior Henry Stickmin series. Even so there are many fans still actively discussing the game, with projects like a Super Smash Bros. Brawl Among Us mod coming out, suggesting the map will have an audience upon release.
Even though it was a game from 2018, Among Us was one of the dominant titles of 2020. It just happened to be the multiplayer experience that everybody needed. It was easy to learn, familiar to most people who had played similar party games, and allowed lots of players to get in on the action. Now that it's had such a surge of popularity, Among Us has a bright future ahead of it. Fans are eagerly anticipating the new map and everything else on the game's development roadmap. That kind of anticipation means fans will be making their own content to celebrate the game, and that includes cosplays.
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