December 24 (The Verge) – With roughly half a billion people reportedly playing it in November, Among Us has had the most monthly players for a mobile game ever, beating giants like Pokémon GO and Candy Crush Saga. According to Nielsen’s SuperData, the game is “by far the most popular game ever in terms of monthly players.”
The success is even more remarkable because InnerSloth — the company that makes Among Us — only has four employees. That’s roughly 125 million players per person who works on the game. It’s proven to be so popular that the studio decided to cancel a sequel that was in the works and just put all its effort into improving the original. It even caught the attention of sitting congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who livestreamed herself playing it to try to encourage people to vote, with an audience on Twitch that peaked at over 400 thousand viewers.
In an email to The Verge, Carter Rogers, Principal Analyst at SuperData, said that the next-most popular game in terms of monthly active users only clocked in at 300 million. Rogers notes that Nielsen arrives at its figures through a mix of “point-of-sale and event data from publishers, developers and payment service providers.” Among Us’ release on the Nintendo Switch was recent enough that it didn’t have an appreciable impact on the game’s total numbers in Nielsen’s analysis.
The fact that Among Us had 500 million players shows the outstanding reach you can get by making a free game that runs on mobile devices. According to SuperData, only three percent of those 500 million players were playing the PC version. To put that number in perspective, Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most hyped AAA game launches we’ve seen in a long time, and it sold 13 million copies this month.
Of course, there’s a large price difference between the games (Among Us is free on mobile, and $5 on PC), but it shows that the audience for mobile games is much larger than other platforms. InnerSloth is working to ensure that Among Us has some staying power by continuing to add new content to it, like the Airship map with new tasks that’s being added early next year.