Among Us became one of the biggest video games of all time practically overnight in 2020, going viral across Twitch and other streaming platforms. The devs at Innersloth, however, struggled to deal with the unprecedented success.
Believe it or not, Among Us launched in 2018 to a relatively tame reception. As a spacefaring take on the age-old ‘Mafia’ party game genre, it wasn’t until 2020 that the title truly broke through the stratosphere.
The world’s most popular streamers discovered the game and quickly launched it into one of the biggest hits that year. From historic broadcasts to mainstream success on both PC and mobile, Among Us reached more than half a billion gamers during its peak.
Reflecting on such an unpredictable rise to the top, three Innersloth devs revealed how they coped with the stress in a June 16 interview with YouTuber Anthony Padilla.
“Among Us going viral… It just became, ok, this is my life,” Innersloth Artist Amy Liu explained.
Having gone from a smaller indie title to now having a global spotlight on the game, “the pressure to get things done quickly was really high,” she added.
“September to December, we’re talking to Xbox, PlayStation. They’re trying to get Among Us on these platforms. Usually, that takes many months, half a year to a year. We were like, three months, we’re gonna try that.”
With just a small handful of employees at Innersloth, this responsibility definitely caused burn out, Liu admitted.
“During all this time, we weren’t able to see friends or family as well.”
“When you’re under hundreds of millions of people worth of pressure, they don’t understand that it takes months,” Among Us Programmer Forest Willard chimed in.
“The server issues should be fixed tomorrow. Adding new stuff should be next week. It’s a lot of pressure, it’s overwhelming. These things all take time.”
While the game’s viral success certainly came with its upsides, it also put the entire studio under a unique microscope, according to co-founder Marcus Bromander.
“The amount of attention we had on us, every little thing we do is gonna get looked at and criticized.”
In a specific example, Bromander outlined how even just a simple font change was met with extremely harsh backlash early on.
With tens of thousands continuing to log in daily, and thousands more tuning into livestreams and watching videos, there’s no denying the impact Among Us has had on the gaming industry.
With that in mind, Innersloth has no plans of abandoning it anytime soon. However, the devs are slowly starting to map out the next release.
Amusingly enough, it may have something to do with “toilet wizards,” Bromander teased.