From Viral to Senile: Among Us vs Fall Guys

Created by Tiffany Kumar.

The video game Among Us has been dominating Twitch and Youtube, stealing the spotlight from Fall Guys, and here is why.

Video games have always dominated the streaming platform TwitchTV, as well as a huge chunk of YouTube. With more and more people tuning in online and playing games during 2020, the industry has seen a momentous surge in viral games, such as Fall Guys and Among Us.

Both of these online multiplayer party games have had their time in the spotlight due to being popularised by famous streamers and YouTubers. Even those who are not involved in the gaming community have some idea of these games, as viral memes have been trending on social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.

However, many may argue that the latest trending game Among Us, has stolen the limelight from what was a viral sensation of a game, Fall Guys.

For those who may not know about either game, here is a quick run down: Fall Guys is a battle royale style multiplayer game, where 60 players must complete obstacle courses without being eliminated to win. The game is bright and colourful, with cute little customisable bean-like characters running around to be the last one standing. Just imagine an extremely wild looking game of the popular TV show ‘Wipeout’.

Among Us, however, is a more complex multiplayer game similar to mafia. Up to 10 players are together as crewmates on a spaceship trying to complete menial tasks to win the game, whilst there are several ‘imposters’ among them trying to kill and sabotage the efforts of the crewmates. Players report dead bodies and call meetings where players discuss evidence or manipulate the truth in order to vote out the suspected imposters. Either the crewmates identify the imposter(s) or complete all tasks to win. Or, imposters successfully kill off all the crewmates and stop them from completing all tasks.

Fall Guys was quickly popularised by streamers and content creators in early August from those who had been given early access to the game. Fall Guys’ release had then become so highly anticipated, that within the first 24 hours of the game’s release over 1.5 million people had bought the game.

The servers struggled to hold such high traffic and soon were shut down for maintenance. Since that original release on August 10th, millions of copies of the game have been sold on PC platform steam. The game was also made available for free on PlayStation 4 consoles. However, the phenomenal success of Fall Guys would soon be over earlier than anyone had anticipated. 

Before we get into how Among Us fits into the demise of Fall Guys, it’s important to discuss the independent issues the game began to have. With such high volumes on servers internationally, there was always going to be the issue of security and cheating. No matter how good an anti-cheat system may be, there’s always going to manage to be a bunch of people who hack their way to the finish line. 

Fall Guys soon had found that they had a huge issue with cheaters and a lack of reporting system would mean that players would easily be swayed away from the game. After all if even one person is cheating in a elimination based game, that automatically ruins all chances of a fair win.

That now just leaves us with the elephant in the room, what effect has Among Us had on Fall Guys?

If we have a look at google trends over the last few months, you can see that Fall Guys took a dip even before Among Us really took off. However, the rise of this newer game really eliminated Fall Guys’ chance to take any spotlight back from the content driven platforms.

A huge reason behind the success of Among Us, if not the largest, is accessibility. Despite the free release of Fall Guys on PlayStation4, that can’t compare to the free to play mobile version of Among Us. Not only is the game a free app download on both IOS and Android devices, but the mobile game is cross-platform capable with the paid PC game. This means people can play in the same game with others both from their computers and phones.

After polling gamers and streamers online to have their say on the issue, a fellow gamer and Journalism student Hazsch stated that “Among Us is just so ridiculously accessible that it’s become a worldwide phenomenon.”

As Among Us dominates social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, viral memes and content have drawn iin people from outside the gaming community. I conducted a poll on instagram to see how many people were also thinking that Among Us has been the driving force behind the demise of Fall Guys and 94% of people agreed that was the case.

Streamers like Orion Rivers, have seen a huge decline in the rate of viewership on Twitch TV. Orion Rivers spoke about why she thinks the popularity of Fall Guys faltered.

“Platform games aren’t nearly as popular as they used to be.”

We can see from these Twitch TV analytics, how Fall Guys’ peak viewership at any one time was over 700 million viewers in August, compared to only now where the game only has around 3000 viewers on stream. 

Orion Rivers spoke about how the game targets a younger demographic, the bright colours and repetitive pace greatly appeals to children. “Fall Guys was alright, but it’s directed more at kids unlike Among Us.” 

Hazsch had similar points to comment as, “it’s easier to find a game locally post-4pm, it’s mainly kids playing.”

The memes and merchandise that have been born out of Among Us are to be seen all over social media. Fall Guys despite their franchise character crossovers, just missed the mark when it came to virality outside of the gaming community.

Out of context Among Us memes are seen dominating social media, as people get the general idea of an imposter. Whereas Fall Guys, just isn’t as memeable unless you actually play the game and have an understanding of the mechanics. 

With all said, Fall Guys is still a fun party game to play with friends. It’s a game that’s got that competitive nature, but you can play more absent mindedly than Among Us. Sometimes, just some light hearted fun is what you’re looking for in a game. We can hope that season 2 is a refreshing take on what was once the dominating game of the year. 

Unfortunately, it’s safe to suggest that Fall Guys’  time at the top has come and gone. Now it’s the time of Among Us.

Featured image credit: InnerSloth

Written by Tiffany Kumar. Edited by Hazel Schweinsberg.

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