Among Us Dev On Why Updates Are Taking So Long
The four-person studio explains why the new map and other features aren't available just yet.
Among Us was one of 2020's biggest and brightest success stories across all of gaming, but the surge in popularity hasn't been easy for developer Innersloth to manage. As such, some players are wondering why new features, the Xbox console edition, and more updates are taking so long.
The studio has now responded directly to this concern. In a blog post, community boss Victoria Tran said the success that Among Us enjoyed later in 2020 was unexpected, and as such, it drove "a lot" of change for the studio.
"Not to dive into too much organizational stuff, but not only did we need to switch back to working on Among Us after thinking it was done, but we also needed to set ourselves up more sustainably to work on the game," Tran said. "We had to spend two months just restructuring, figuring out new processes, and getting external partners to help us manage on board."
Among Us was developed by three people, and Tran became the fourth person on the team. But for Among Us to set itself up for long-term success, the studio needed to "streamline things," Tran said. This behind-the-scenes work is taking up time, Tran acknowledged.
"It's all behind the scenes work, and while it meant time away from the game, it'll make it easier for current and future us to develop the game better. Not to mention additional platforms (like Nintendo Switch and Xbox) means more support, certifications to go through, and whatnot," Tran said. "We have help from our porting partners for that, but it still means we need to make sure future things we do are supported on those platforms. There's a ton of other things out of our control (legal issues, meetings, planning), so sometimes these things take longer as well."
Tran thanked fans for their patience as they await the next big update for Among Us.
"We want to do more for you to show you how grateful we are, but without sacrificing on the quality and values we had before this blew up," Tran said. "2020 was a rough year for everyone, but thank you for surprising and delighting us in spite of it all."
In terms of what's coming to Among Us in 2021, Tran said a goal for Innersloth in 2021 is to be more transparent about what's coming in the form of a public roadmap. This roadmap won't include rigid dates until the developer knows they are feasible, but the roadmap will "be a place to find out what to look forward to first! More on that soon."
Innersloth is also hiring hiring more developers, but it's not as simple as you might imagine.
"We've heard all the questions: 'Why don't you just hire more people so development can go faster?' We wish it were that easy!" Tran said. "Adding more people doesn't automatically make development go faster--it slows it down and can cause a ton of issues if we don't do it properly (and in the worst cases, when finances aren't handled properly, it can actually end up closing a studio completely. Many indie studios have faced this problem, sadly.)"
Again, Tran said Innersloth never anticipated the great success of Among Us, so the studio is "taking it slow and steady" to ensure it hires the right people to grow the game.
As for what we do know is coming to Among Us, a new map called Airship is in development, while the studio is bringing the game to Xbox platforms in 2021 following its release on Nintendo Switch. There is no word, however, about a PlayStation edition of the game. Innersloth is also working on a new "Account" system that players can use to report players. Other features in the works include a friend system and the ability to save stats.
"We're hoping to get this out ASAP. This is a small step towards ensuring everyone playing the game has a safe and welcoming experience!" Tran said. "Don't worry, we've heard all your requests for things like a friend system, saved stats, and so on, but for now this will be the first thing available."
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