Among Us became so popular during the pandemic that InnerSloth canceled plans for a sequel and will instead add all of the new content intended for the sequel into the existing game. (The company is now rewriting the code so it can handle it all.)

The developers believe the game’s surge in popularity started outside the US. “It was found by someone by Korea,” Marcus Bromander, an Among Us game designer, told the video game blog Kotaku. Gaming communities in Mexico and Brazil picked it up from there, making it just relevant enough—but still quite obscure—for a few influential streamers on the platform Twitch to find it and broadcast it to their fan bases in July.

By August, the developers said more than 100,000 players were using the game every hour. The majority of those are on Android devices, but usage of the game on iOS devices and PCs has spiked considerably this month. Since April, video game usage on a variety of platforms has hit record highs due to stay-at-home orders. It is the ideal environment for a tiny, indie game to be plucked out of oblivion and dropped into millions of living rooms in the span of a few weeks.

Bromander admitted to Kotaku the InnerSloth team is “really bad at marketing”—which is perhaps why you haven’t seen TV commercials, sponsored social media posts, or pre-roll ads of the game. But in today’s pandemic economy, a game doesn’t need an advertising budget to grow. All it takes is a single streamer to give it the visibility it needs to blast off.

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