Among Us has become nothing short of a cultural phenomenon during the final stages of summer 2020. The murder-mystery party game was first released in 2018 by the three-person development team InnerSloth, and over the course of the past month, it has surged in popularity among Twitch streamers and gamers. That seemingly happened as gamers searched for squad-based games to play with friends as coronavirus social distancing continues.
The developer tweeted September 4 that the game had 1.5 million simultaneous players on September 4 and was the most-watched game on Twitch with more than 375,000 viewers at the time of writing. Even with Among Us' newfound popularity, InnerSloth revealed that it had begun work on a sequel it called Among Us 2 in an August 18 developer blog post.
The team laid out its rough vision for the follow-up but ensured players that it will remain the same game that millions of players have come to love at its core.
Currently, Among Us assigns four to ten players the role of an astronaut the role of a crewmember aboard a spaceship. One or three of the crew's members, however, are alien "imposters" whose objective it is is to kill everyone. Crew members try to escape unharmed by completing a series of mundane tasks assigned to them, and they can only win by successfully voting to eject the imposters out of the airlock.
When Among Us 2 eventually launches, fans will still be able to play the same game, but InnerSloth hopes to weed out the game's worst bugs and add more options for veteran players to experiment with.
Here's everything we know about the release of Among Us 2.
When is the Among Us 2 release date?
InnerSloth didn't include a release date window in its announcement of Among Us 2 but it did offer some insights into how long it could take for the sequel to ship. The dev team revealed how roughly how long it took to create the original. Based on that, the earliest window for a full Among Us 2 release is August 2021.
"We just started planning. There is no art, programming, or sound done at all," the InnerSloth blog post reads. "For the record, Among Us took about 6 months to enter open beta (early access) and 6 more months to leave open beta. Among Us 2 will probably take at least as long to enter open beta, and will probably spend longer there."
The dev did state that it wants to roll out an early access version of the game before launch, so it's possible that fans and streamers will get to play the game earlier than that as InnerSloth works on its finishing touches.
How much will Among Us 2 cost?
InnerSloth confirmed that Among Us 2 won't be free but it hasn't settled on a final price just yet, plus anyone who bought Among Us for $5 on Steam could get the sequel for slightly cheaper.
The devs are playing with the idea of offering discount coupons for anyone who already owns the original on Steam, while the mobile version will remain free with the option to pay to remove advertisements. It's difficult to say exactly how much Among Us 2 will cost without a better idea of exactly how much InnerSloth will add, but it's safe to say it will land within the $5 to $20 range at launch.
The team also discussed the possibility of adding an in-game currency that players can use to buy cosmetic items. This would add more of a play progression element to the game, where you have to play a certain amount of games to earn a specific skin but this could also be the introduction of microtransactions for in-game outfits.
What will happen to Among Us 1?
Absolutely nothing. InnerSloth reassured fans that after Among Us 2 launches the indie studio will continue to maintain servers for the first installment of the game so long as there are enough players to begin games (more than 50 active players).
The blog post also noted that even if Among Us's player base all migrate to the sequel, InnerSloth will make the code or the original open-source so players can manage servers themselves. So the release of Among Us 2 doesn't mean gamers won't be able to go back to the version that originally got them hooked on InnerSloth's murder-mystery franchise.
What platforms will Among Us 2 be playable on?
InnerSloth didn't mention anything about whether or not Among Us 2 will be coming to any major console or Mac. But the team did note that it's still in the early stages of designing the overhaul so there's still hope for at least a port to the MacOS.
We'll need to wait for the next update on the sequel to know for sure
What new features are coming to Among Us 2?
Aside from the addition of an in-game currency, InnerSloth mentioned five major updates that are slated for Among Us 2:
Bigger lobbies that allow 12 to 15 players to join at once. This change was specifically called out to better balance gamers with 3 Imposters, which are heavily skewed in the favor of the imposters in a 10-player game.
New maps will be added, and the three current maps might be removed.
Refined matchmaking system with the option to queue for different game modes (like hide-and-seek) and a skill level ranking. InnerSloth hasn't gotten into the nitty-gritty of how this overhauled matchmaking system will look like, but matchmaking bugs are among some of the most frequently cited problems with the game. This is most likely due to the recent massive influx of players, but it's good to see InnerSloth laying out a plan to tackle potentially the game's biggest issue.
Improved game moderation that will include a report system players can use to call out hackers and in-game toxicity. Currently, there's no such infrastructure in place, which lets griefers and cheaters run rampant. This might not be a complete solution to these problems, but at least a crowdsourced report system won't let offered go completely unpunished.
More game roles aside from just Crewmates and Imposters that will enable all-new game modes. InnerSloth teased the idea of adding completely new game modes that aren't possible with the two current roles. Among Us 2 could include other detective-mystery modes, like Town of Salem or One Night Werewolf, where there are a dozen of potential roles players could be in any given round.
All of these are just proposals at the moment, but expect InnerSloth to offer more insights into their progress as the year goes on and 2021 comes around.
Among Us 2 is currently in development.