Who’s Sus? The Rise and the Fall of Among Us

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Isabella Rosette, Staff Writer

Although the game had been out for two years, Among Us became popular during the infamous lockdown of 2020, really picking up steam in September of 2020. Produced by Innersloth, was released on June 15th, 2018, and is described as an “online multiplayer social deduction game” and is basically a modern Mafia

Among Us was made by three college students: Marcus Bromander, Forest Willard, and Amy Liu. Before it became as popular as it did, Innersloth had plans for a sequel to Among Us. However, as the popularity of the game rose, the developers decided to scrap the plans for the sequel.

In an interview with Bloomberg.com, Willard said, “We realized, there’s so much popularity, so many people are playing this. How much of it are we going to lose by making a sequel? So we decided… We’ll just keep adding stuff to the old one.”

With up to 10 players in a lobby at a time, roles are given at the beginning of each round by random selection. Players can have one of two roles: crewmate or imposter. Players can select up to three imposters for a game and the imposters’ goal is to eliminate each crewmate. The job of a crewmate is to complete all tasks before the imposters eliminate all crewmates. 

Imposters have the ability to “sabotage,” which causes an event, ranging from turning out the lights to sabotaging comms, which crewmates have to fix as soon as possible. Many of these sabotages are timed, such as reactor meltdowns or oxygen depletion. If crewmates are unable to resolve these sabotages in the allotted time, the imposters claim the victory. 

Imposters also have the ability to “vent,” which allows them to travel to different locations on the map without crewmates noticing.

Crewmates and imposters are able to call emergency meetings and report bodies, which pulls all players into a lobby, where they can use the in-game chat to decide who is suspicious, or “sus,” a term that became popular through the game. 

During the lockdown, three maps were available for players to choose from: The Skeld, which was added in June of 2018, Mira HQ, added in August of 2019, and Polus, added in November of 2019. Now, as of 2021, the game now offers a fourth map, The Airship, which was released in March of 2021. 

But what happened to the game? While it still exists, the popularity of the game has rapidly decreased. The game became popular, making its way to Twitch and YouTube streams all over the world, but now those streams have decreased to the point where a game that everyone talked about is now barely heard of.

The rise of Among Us can be closely related to the entertainment industry. Popular YouTubers and Twitch streamers, such as Sodapoppin, who is most credited for popularizing the game. Other streamers like Corpse, Valkyrae, Jacksepticeye, Sykkuno played Among Us, showcasing it to millions across the globe- millions who wanted to try the game out for themselves. 

During the height of the pandemic, many people experienced loneliness, caused by the lockdown, which kept them from being able to see their friends. However, the multiplayer platform of Among Us allowed separated friends to feel more connected through the game. According to Pioneeroptimist.com, the game had surpassed 217 downloads by November of 2020.

Despite this, as the pandemic started to slow and lockdowns began to lift, Among Us saw a drastic decrease in players. This, however, was not the only cause. At the time, Innersloth was still a relatively small team that had never anticipated the popularity of the game. Within the past couple of months, Innersloth only just welcomed a fifth member to the team. 

Secondly, the game was simplistic. While this was fun at first and allowed even those with little gaming experience to get good at the game, it caused many players to grow bored, as there was no way to progress throughout the game. It just seemed to be the same thing over and over again. 

According to steamcharts.com, in September of 2020, the game had 151,380.3 average players. This number increased to 176,453.9 in October but began to decline in November, only reaching 114,344.4 average players. While it was still a good number, it began to decrease rapidly by this point. By December of 2020, Among Us only had 66,538.5 average players, a -41.81% decrease from November. The fall of Among Us was upon us.

With the March 2021 update, Innersloth released The Airship: a new, larger map. The map was based off of another popular game, Henry Stickmin, after the developer, Puffballs United, joined the Innersloth team. However, the map’s large area and complicated tasks did not please players. According to Impact Magazine, even notorious players such as Pokimaine and Sykkuno were unhappy and had their criticisms.

In June of 2021, Among Us updated its lobbies to allow 15 players and promises more updates in the future, desperately trying to save the game from becoming just an old trend and distant memory. However, at only 7,519.5 average players within the last 30 days according to steamcharts.com, the future of Among Us seems bleak.

Among Us became popular as nothing more than a trend. Many people join trends to feel part of a group or to experience what everyone else experiences. Trends are the way people interact. It’s seemingly something everyone can join in together. However, they are not made to last. 

While Innersloth still desperately tries to update Among Us in hopes of reviving the popularity it once had, that task is proving harder than choosing who to vote out as the imposter.