The Among Us Phenomenon – Why Is It So Popular?

Gemma Cockrell

Gemma investigates gaming’s latest crowd favourite.

Following the rise of Fall Guys a few months ago, there’s a new game on the block – Among Us. The game has seen 41.9 million downloads in September alone! The sudden popularity of the game was somewhat unexpected, seeing as it came out 2 years ago in 2018.

The concept is that you play in groups of 4 to 10 players, on a spaceship. One of these players is an Impostor whose goal is to kill everyone else onboard. The rest of you are part of the regular crew, trying to escape the spaceship unharmed. To do this you must complete several tasks or identify the Impostor and vote them out. If successful, the crew wins. If the Impostor kills everyone, they win.

When investigating the reasons for Among Us’ popularity, I realised that many are exactly the same as the reasons why Fall Guys exploded. The characters even look slightly similar! Like Fall Guys, Among Us has become so popular partly because it’s free. If you download BlueStacks on PC you can download the game for free (it’s only $5 on Steam, and there it comes ad free!).

Every gamer is willing to try a free game out – what is there to lose?

Another reason the game is so popular is that you can easily play with your friends. All you have to do is host a game, which generates a password that you need to enter that lobby. There’s also cross-play between PC and mobile, making it even easier to play with friends. And when your friends aren’t available you can still play online with random players by joining public lobbies.

Games are always much more fun when played with friends, so Among Us making it so easy to do so is likely a reason for its popularity, especially during the times of COVID-19 when it’s sometimes difficult to see friends face-to-face.

A benefit of the game is that it doesn’t require the latest or most powerful hardware to run. It only needs 1 GB of RAM, 250mb of hard drive space, and a Windows 7 PC. Unlike games like Call of Duty, which have recently been criticised for how much space they consume, Among Us only takes up a small amount of storage on your PC.

Games that are simplistic but addictive rather than unnecessarily complex are seeing a surge in popularity lately. Among Us is an example of this. This makes it easy for new or unexperienced gamers to hop in. After many have been housebound for most of this year, people are eager to discover hobbies that let them stay in the house. Therefore, there have been many new people discovering gaming as a hobby– and games like Among Us are perfect starting points.

Games like Among Us have dominated 2020, and it’s easy to see why. If you’re a gamer of any skill level, I recommend that you give Among Us a go. The developers ditched a sequel to keep supporting the current game, so it’s got a lot of life left in it yet. For now, it’s only available on PC and mobile, but hopefully in the future it will come to more platforms!

Gemma Cockrell

Featured image courtesy of Alex Haney on Unsplash. Article images courtesy of InnerSloth via Instagram. Image use licence here. No changes made to this image.

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