How Memes Revived A Two Year Old Indie Game

How Memes Revived A Two Year Old Indie Game

Written by 

Owen Turner


22nd Sep 2020 16:30

Among Us went from a moderately known game with a small social following to one of the biggest hits of 2020. To some, this might seem impossible since it was released two years ago, but with the help of streamers and memes, it blew up overnight. The game now has 1.5 million active players with 70% of its lifetime downloads in the past forty-five days. Its player peak had a +77 thousand boost from 2018 to 2020 gaining a massive fan base. A lot of things tend to gain popularity in a short period of time, but what makes Among Us different?

For starters is an easy to access game. With its free download in the app store and price point on Steam that will only set you back a couple of dollars, it’s perfect. A fun interactive game to play with friends that won’t leave a hole in your wallet. The original promoter of this game happened to be a Twitch employee by the name of Pluto. He made a tweet that would change the lives of streamers and the team at InnerSloth. After finding the niche indie game, Pluto gave the recommendation to Sodapoppin. A content creator with 1.08 million subscribers on YouTube and 2.8 million followers on Twitch. Soda took the word of Pluto and gave Among Us a shot, and he instantly fell in love with the game. This was followed with the creation of multiple videos and hours of streaming time put into fixing wires or hopping into vents.

Other members of the Twitch community started to play the game and also enjoyed its simple animation style. A couple of big names included Pokimane and CallMeCarson. This led to meme culture and inside jokes being brought up in chat bars every minute. Most memorable ones include calling red “sus” and saying “where?”. Anyone who plays Among Us understands these well-known remarks. Sus came from the word suspicious, which is well-known slang on social platforms. Simply saying “where?” is everyone’s go-to line once a player calls an emergency meeting.

Reddit users within r/AmongUs picked up on this back in March of 2019 back when the game contained a small fan base. The spread to Instagram didn’t start until August 2020 when a page named functioned posted a reel of kill animations with different audio. People began to share these creations with their friends without even knowing about the game. These posts gave everyone a good laugh which led to some wondering if they should give Among Us a try. Some opted for the free mobile download while others just went for the purchase on Steam. Not only did InnerSloth receive income from downloads but also from skin packs which were the centre of multiple internet memes. The most well-known pet pack was the mini crewmate bundle. Everyone wanted a mini version of them to play as their sidekick while the robot was tossed to the side. 

Among Us Indie Game
Click to enlarge
Among Us Indie Game
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Besides hilarious memes, the release of Henry Stickmin also played its part in helping boost popularity for Among Us. As most people know the lead artist PuffBalls at InnerSloth is also responsible for making the Henry Stickmin Series. The game offers comedic art styles that became templates for even more memes. Most people know the smirk face or gate shooting from posts made on Reddit or Instagram. It wasn’t until late July when this game became a hit. It seems like InnerSloth has a track record of using social media to boost their servers and downloads.

Another game that received lots of viewership in the past month was Fall Guys. An obstacle course game with goofy costumes and fun to use characters. Most people started to notice a similarity between the characters in Among Us and Fall Guys. This is due to their jelly bean-shaped bodies. Most people even refer to fall guys as crewmates with arms.

At first, it seemed like a coincidence having memes create the majority of downloads for Among Us until the same thing also happened to Henry Stickmin. Now memes being used as an SEO tactic isn’t new. This has been a go-to form of marketing within the past couple of years. But seeing this used for game downloads is a little different. It could’ve just been adopted from InnerSloth’s fanbase, or they have a marketing genius on their team. Either way, it was very helpful for the success of Among Us and leaves thousands of fans wanting more. People are sending out résumés to work on Among Us 2 while others are sitting in front of their computers trying to make the next best meme for millions to see. The game is super fun and has finally received the recognition it deserves within the world of indie games.


Images via MemeZilla | Froyo | n0artist

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