Year in Games

2020's most promising new video game franchises couldn't be more different

Just nine votes separated the two frontrunners.

A character from Ghost of Tsushima holding a sword above their head

2020 contained a lot of promising new franchises in addition to the notable sequels like The Last of Us Part 2 and reimaginings like Final Fantasy VII Remake. As part of Inverse's end of year celebration for video games, we asked our readers about their favorite video games of 2020.

1,258 respondents weighed in on 2020's most promising new game franchise. While games like Fall Guys, Valorant, Genshin Impact, and Hades were all in play, two newcomers rose to the top. They're two of 2020's biggest games, and they have almost nothing in common.

Here's who claimed the most votes. It was a pretty close call, with just nine votes separating first and second place.

  1. Ghost of Tsushima: 35.1 percent (433 votes)
  2. Among Us: 34.4 percent (442 votes)

2. Among Us

While Among Us is still technically a new franchise, the game first debuted in 2018. That said it became an internet sensation this summer thanks to Twitch streamers and YouTubers. Among Us, which was created by a team of just three people, is a murder mystery multiplayer game where players must root out the imposter within a group of crewmates before everyone is killed.

It's a simple a memorable formula that's easy to pick up and play. Among Us has gained mainstream notoriety and has even been played by politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitch. As such, Among Us is here to say, and we probably don't have to worry about it going anywhere anytime soon. Even though Among Us 2 was cancelled, Among Us is getting continued support.

It just came to Nintendo Switch and will be released to Xbox consoles next year. A major update will add a new map in 2021, and it hopefully won't be the last. All Among Us needs is a TV show or movie to truly cement it as a multimedia franchise. Still, it's a IP that will be part of the public zeitgeist going forward.

1. Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima is the rare new IP from a major first-party console manufacturer Sucker Punch Productions, owned by Sony, followed up Infamous with this new franchise set in feudal Japan. Ghost of Tsushima follows a samurai, Jin Sakai, as he attempts to take his homeland back from the invading Mongols.

What resulted was a massive open-world adventure. While I was cold on it, it was clearly beloved by many players who can't wait to see more adventures set within the game's world. Feudal Japan is a setting that's ripe with potential, and Sucker Punch has already expanded upon it with a unique multiplayer mode. At this time, a sequel has not gotten confirmed.

That said, it's clear that Ghost of Tsushima has a lot of franchise potential. Job listings indicate that a sequel is already in the works, and Sony should be interested in making one because Ghost of Tsushima sold extremely well for a new IP. Sony has also confirmed to CNBC that three movies and seven TV shows based on PlayStation franchises are in the works, so we could possibly see Ghost of Tsushima in a new medium soon.

If you missed either Among Us or Ghost of Tsushima, give them a shot over the holidays. We'll certainly see more of both in the future.

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