Among Us was released in June 2018, but has suddenly shot to the top of Steam and app download lists, reaching more than 86 million downloads by mid-September. Why the sudden boost in popularity?
Among Us skyrocketed in popularity over the past couple of months as famous Twitch streamers began playing.
The answer seems to be Twitch streamers, as popular personalities on the online game streaming platform like Sodapoppin, Pewdiepie, Shroud and Ninja have all played. On Twitch, Among Us has 3.3 million followers -- in comparison, Fortnite has 3.7 million.
Tons of Among Us memes have also popped up on Twitter and Reddit, spreading the word about the game further. It's also possible that many people have already exhausted other distance-friendly online games with friends during coronavirus quarantines, and this is something new and easy to play from afar. Plus, the game supports cross-platform play on PC and mobile in both local and online multiplayer games, making it easier for people to play together no matter what device they're on. Many players also use the platform Discord to chat with friends in real time as they play.
On Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez streamed Among Us on Twitch alongside streamers Pokimane and Hasanabi, in an effort to inspire people to vote. The stream peaked at 439,000 views, making it the third-highest-viewed single stream in Twitch history. (The all-time record is Ninja's, when he teamed up with Drake and Travis Scott in a game of Fortnite.) Viewership ranged from 300,000 to 400,000 for most of the stream.