What's going on with 2020's surprise hit, and what's next.
Among Us was already a couple years old when it was picked up by popular streamers and became one of 2020's defining games. It's a simple, though not entirely straightforward, game of social deception with quick rounds, and that turned out to be a brilliant recipe for a year which saw many kids and adults spending more time at home on their phones, desktop PCs, and laptops.
The sudden success of Among Us caught its developers at InnerSloth somewhat off guard. They were working on a sequel, Among Us 2, but ended up canceling it to focus on the surprise hit in front of them. Perhaps something was lost when that project ended—who knows what a ground-up rebuild could've been like—but the team has been enthusiastic about Among Us's future, and is working on a new map, as well as some big new features.
Here's where Among Us stands early in 2021, the year after it became a phenomenon.
What's been happening recently?
- The upcoming Airship map was revealed in December
- Development of an accounts system also started late last year
- Among Us briefly became a major political stage when US representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez streamed the game twice, the second time with Canada's Jagmeet Singh
Are players happy?
Among Us blew up more or less out of nowhere, and the developers at InnerSloth could only react to that success so quickly. With so many players, cheating and trolling inevitably became the biggest issue—one guy was filling servers with spam messages—and an account system is on the way to help address the problem. In the meantime, the developer says players can report instances of trolling or hacking directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manual email reporting is not ideal, and there are other limitations and gaps in Among Us. A more detailed filter for searching open games would be great, for instance—right now, you can only filter by number of imposters and map. Still, players are more-or-less happy. It's understood that Among Us is being made by a small team, so development will take time, and it's not a game people expect constant tweaking or paradigm-shifting meta changes from.
The number of concurrent Among Us players has dropped off a little bit since the height of its 2020 popularity, but it remains planted among Steam's top ten games.
When is the new Airship map releasing?
The new map, called The Airship, is coming in "early 2021," so sometime before this summer, probably. It'll be free to all players, and adds ladders to the mix, as well as the ability to choose one of three starting rooms after a meeting.
☀️ THE AIRSHIP - A new map coming early 2021 ☀️Prepare yourselves, crewmates. This upcoming (free!) map will include:???? all new tasks???? your choice of what room to start in???? ladders?!???? and more?But don't forget about those Impostors lurking around... pic.twitter.com/IU2HJGuyEYDecember 11, 2020
What other Among Us updates are coming, and when?
The next major update will be the account system, which should help curb the hacking problem. InnerSloth is also working on adding support for more languages, and will probably fix a bunch of bugs in the next release.
We're not sure when that big update will come (or if we should expect a series of smaller updates), but it should be pretty soon. In November, Innersloth said it hoped to have a barebones account system up and running in December. We'll be looking for an update on that within the next couple months.
Longer term, InnerSloth will definitely reveal some new stuff later this year: In the section below, we learn that there are "secret" tasks in progress, and that InnerSloth plans to post a development roadmap at some point.
Questions for the developer
PC Gamer: What should players be most excited about in 2021?
Victoria Tran, Community Director: Players can look forward to the new Airship map, which will drop in early 2021! It'll feature all new tasks, the ability to pick your starting area, ladders/moving platforms, and new places to get lost (or murdered?) in. We also have other tasks in the works but shhh, it's a secret for now.
Aside from the account system and support for more languages, what are your top priorities when it comes to Among Us updates this year?
Definitely the new map, among other secrets that are in the works. We're hoping to launch a roadmap so our players can know what we're working on to improve the game—can't make any promises on what we'll reveal yet, but it'll be fun!
Who's the imposter?
It's Cyan, you fools. The guilt is written all over their face!