Here's How Among Us Became One of 2020's Biggest Games

Photo Courtesy: Innersloth/IMDb

Due to the ongoing shelter-in-place and social-distancing guidelines, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have strangely set the perfect stage for several video games to take the world by storm. Back in March, it was the calming, everyday escapism of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which sold 5 million digital copies in its first month and led to a worldwide Nintendo Switch shortage. But, in the last few months, Animal Crossing has been (somewhat) dethroned — at least in terms of viral buzz — by a little game called Among Us.

Unlike the latest Animal Crossing entry, Innersloth’s Among Us isn’t a new game. Back in June of 2018, a free-to-play version of the app was released on iOS and Android platforms, followed by a five-dollar Windows release a few months later. At the time, Among Us received little mainstream attention, but, thanks to a legion of Twitch streamers and YouTubers reviving interest in the game during the pandemic, the little-game-that-could received an unexpected surge in popularity. That surge has since led to a staggering 217 million mobile downloads as of November 2020, which, in turn, spawned the announcement of a sequel game and far too many viral memes to count. Needless to say, Among Us is 2020’s last great gaming phenomenon.