The Among Us phenomenon continues according to new data from mobile analyst provider Sensor Tower.
One of the more impressive games industry stories in recent months is Among Us, which has risen to immense popularity on the back of unexpected influencer attention. Things came to a head at the end of last month when New York Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitch in an effort to encourage voting in last week’s presidential election.
On the back of this trend, mobile analyst group Sensor Tower announced this week that the mega-popular party/deduction game has now been downloaded more than 217 million times on mobile platforms. In addition, it has generated over $39 million from player spending. According to Craig Chapple, mobile insights strategist at Sensor Tower, these impressive numbers are typically reserved for mobile juggernauts and the hyper-casual genre.
“Typically, hyper-casual titles are the major games that accumulate the most downloads, or titles that have a large user acquisition budget or established IP attached to them,” Chapple told GameDaily. “This year, titles that are estimated to have generated more than 200 million downloads from the App Store and Google Play are Garena Free Fire, PUBG Mobile, and Subway Surfers.”
Chapple said that what impresses him most about Among Us is that it’s a wholly original property not based on any existing IP. Additionally, the game originally came out in 2018, meaning that more than two years have passed since its release and its subsequent rise to fame.
At least some of the success, Chapple explained, can be attributed to the wide saturation of mobile devices. On PC and console, Among Us isn’t entirely unique in its “hidden traitor” mechanics, but it is a bit rarer on mobile. And in today’s pandemic-stricken environment people are looking for more ways to connect. For Chapple, Among Us provides just that.
“It comes at a time when people are on their phones more than ever, while also searching for ways to communicate with each other in a world with many social restrictions during the pandemic. It’s all combined to make Among Us the perfectly entertaining experience for this time.”
According to Chapple, the big takeaway here, though, is the impressive power held by influencers, who can take a small, unknown game and turn it into a global phenomenon. Among Us didn’t become popular because of an expensive marketing campaign or publisher know-how. It was because of influencers, seemingly random players who command a notable audience.
It’s important, though, not to discount the dedication of developer InnerSloth. In the mobile market, it can be easy to become discouraged by overcrowding and the random nature of success and failure. For two years, though, InnerSloth has supported Among Us, confident in its ability to deliver an entertaining product. The developer was even working on a sequel, but that was cancelled once Among Us found success.
“Depending on the level of success you’re looking after, Among Us didn’t make much of a mark on mobile in its early days, but the developer kept at it, and eventually saw those efforts rewarded,” Chapple said. “It speaks to a level of persistence you don’t often see on the platform, though I don’t think many more developers will follow in its footsteps.”
It’s been fascinating to watch the rise of Among Us, and it will be interesting to see how InnerSloth continues to support it moving forward. If Chapple’s analysis is to be believed this is a level of success not afforded to many would-be mobile titans, so hopefully the studio doesn’t take its position for granted.
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