The developers talked about the first version of the game, how it became popular, and what the studio is going to do in the future.
It's pretty safe to say there is no one who hasn't heard of Among Us. Seems like the popularity of this game came out of nowhere, but it's hard to argue the addictiveness of this game and its impact.
In Noclip's documentary, Among Us developers from InnerSloth recalled how it started and who made the game so well-known.
The co-founder of the studio Marcus Bromander shared that the inspiration came from a movie.
"I'd watched John Carpenter's "The Thing". I really liked the concept of like someone hiding in plain sight and you don't know who you can trust. And then I thought about, what if you could link that to like a "Jackbox" to type of mobile experience that you can just get together with your friends and play? And I pitched that."
The game's mechanics are by no means new. If you tried to explain it, you'd most definitely mention Mafia. But what else is there?
"Among Us was born from a real-life role-playing game called Assassin, which is popular in college dorms. In Assassin, players try to eliminate one another while others hide in an effort to become the last surviving player."
The problem with the game was the location: it's not that easy to find an empty house with a good layout. Also, you'd have to wait until nighttime, and some elements of the game were quite boring, so InnerSloth wanted to give everybody a goal.
"The first version of the game was super different. It was super sweaty. You had to run around all the time and like fix tasks in order to keep the ship together, otherwise, the imposters would just immediately win. And so you were constantly doing stuff
to the point where you couldn't look for bodies or notice anything."
It started as you might expect from an indie game. However, soon the game got its first big audience.
"There was one Korean streamer who had, I think 90,000 subscribers or something like that, and people really liked it on their channel. And so yeah, it drew 10,000 players on like mobile and Itch and Steam."
That was just the beginning as soon other streamers heard about the game.
It was like July or August of 2019 when Godenot started streaming Among Us. Godenot Brazilian streamer with like 2 million subscribers. And so, you know, when you start to hit the like millions of subscribers stages, all of these other large groups, small groups will start to stream things just because the big streamer is doing it."
Among Us is the biggest title of the studio, but the developers are not planning to stop making games.
"We'll keep "Among Us" going as long as people are playing but I'll probably, me Forest start working on a new game at some point."
As with any big hit, InnerSloth understands the gravity of such popularity and how it might affect its other games.
"Everything has like this element of it has to be bigger because Among Us. It needs to be good, really good because Among Us and everything is sort of driven by this, well, people are actually gonna notice now."