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Innersloth is a Redmond, Washington-based video game-development studio,[7] most notable for creating the games Among Us and The Henry Stickmin Collection.[8][9][10] They create games for Windows, macOS, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices.

The developer team persevered when their product did not find success immediately after game release, and waited and adapted their strategy.[3] Innersloth faced growing challenges after rapid success and increased popularity in 2020,[11][12] two years after its release.

Background

Foundation

Innersloth is structured as a limited liability company.[13][14][15] Its staff consists of five programmers, two artists, and a community director.[16][17][18] They are based out of Redmond, Washington.[19][20][21] The Innersloth team has maintained their focus as an indie game developer.[5][22] The developers rarely meet in person, preferring remote work.[5] Innersloth was formed by video game developer Marcus Bromander, who goes by the username PuffballsUnited on the gaming website Newgrounds;[4][23][24] with his colleague and co-founder Forest Willard.[25][26] All three members of the Innersloth team first met in college at Oregon State University (OSU), and began video game development together after graduation.[27][28]

Bromander and Willard discovered their video game development skills could help each other, with Bromander's skill game design and artwork complementing Willard's computer programming background.[27][28] After Willard left his job at Microsoft, they decided to form a joint venture together.[27] Bromander and Willard founded Innersloth as a privately held company in 2015.[29]

Development Team

Bromander serves as an artist, animator, and game designer for Innersloth.[23][30][31] Willard serves as a computer programmer and head of business management for Innersloth.[1][2][30] Amy Liu is artist, designer, and animator for Innersloth.[5][6] Liu was hired as artist for Innersloth shortly after its co-founding by Bromander and Willard.[28] In their early development process, the Innersloth team traveled to a video game convention PAX and were inspired by viewing the game Nuclear Throne.[27] During early game design, the Innersloth team engages in creating prototypes with rough images, detailing the art design at a later stage once they worked out the basic game mechanics.[27][32][33] In an interview with Kotaku, Bromander explained the strengths and weaknesses behind the developers at Innersloth.[3] Bromander lamented that they were not skilled at promoting their products, telling Kotaku, "We’re really bad at marketing."[3] Bromander updates fans on Innersloth developments on his Twitter @PuffBallsUnited, and his YouTube channel where he had 80,000 subscribers in September 2020.[34]

Growth and Response

"Kotaku" analyzed the efficiency of the development team at Innersloth, concluding the company succeeded at persevering to improve their product even after an initial stage of failure to achieve popularity in the beginning.[3] Innersloth developers focused on the player experience, over and above microtransactions.[35] The Innersloth developers appreciated the Internet memes based on their work and were driven to create an enjoyable user experience for the players.[6] Willard explained the business model behind Innersloth, "We're a slow-growing company. We snowball our way to the top instead of spike and tail like most Steam releases do." [3] Liu stated she started to follow video game streamers to get more artistic development ideas at Innersloth.[3] By October 2017, all three members of the Innersloth team had begun to devote their efforts full-time to the company.[28] Innersloth faced challenges from rapid success during 2020.[11][36][37] After an increase in popularity in 2020, Willard stated Innersloth planned to increase server performance for August 2021.[24] Innersloth experienced problems with hackers attacking their servers in 2020.[38][39][40] Innersloth responded by adapting their systems and servers.[2][41]

Innersloth implemented modifications to allow for moderation in-game and reporting of problems to the development team.[2][26][41]

Game Release History

Innersloth released its game Dig2China in 2015.[34][42][43] It was made available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.[34] In the game, players are able to dig to Asia using an excavator.[34] They can then upgrade their excavator and dig through thirteen layers of the Earth.[34] In-between Dig2China and their next venture, Innersloth experienced multiple failed projects prior to achieving success with their video game development.[27] Some of these failed projects were multiplayer games, which gave the Innersloth team some hesitation with venturing into this medium for their next game.[27] This was followed up by Among Us, first released on June 15, 2018.[30][44][45] This game was not successful upon initial release in 2018 and failed to become popular after its launch.[46][47][48] However, it gained popularity for Innersloth in 2020, after increased usage by Twitch streamers and YouTubers including Sodapoppin, xQc, Shroud, Ninja, Markiplier, Jacksepticeye and PewDiePie.[49][50][51]

A report by Sensor Tower noted, "Innersloth’s [game] was a breakaway hit, reaching No. 1 among the top downloaded games of 3Q20."[52] Associated Press confirmed this, reporting it was number one on their list of top iPhone and iPad apps.[53] By October 2020, the game had been downloaded over 100 million times.[54][55][56] Innersloth was not prepared for the level of interest they received from this game, and they altered their video game development plans accordingly.[12][57][58] They originally had planned a release of an Among Us sequel titled Among Us 2, with new features including playability across multiple devices and increased capacity for the surge in the number of players using their systems.[59][60][61] Innersloth canceled their efforts at this initiative in order to focus on maintaining and improving the original game in the face of sudden rising popularity.[62][63][64] Innersloth released their game The Henry Stickmin Collection on August 7, 2020, and the game was made available via macOS and PC versions.[27][42][65]

The Henry Stickmin Collection is a remaster of some of Bromander's previous flash games, along with a 6th and final installment, and involves control of a protagonist character assigned special missions including infiltrating an airship, stealing diamonds, escaping from prison, and committing bank robberies.[34] GameCrate called it the "indie game of the month";[66] and it was reviewed favorably by PC Gamer,[67] and YouTuber Markiplier.[68][69]

Among Us was not always named "Among Us". The game was originally named "Space Mafia." Users have discovered this after going into the game's files on Android, and seeing the game was internally named "SpaceMafia" rather than "Among Us".

Merchandise Store

Main article: Innersloth Merchandise Store


Gallery

External links

References

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  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Innersloth has responded to Among Us hackers ruining matches". Site. 5 October 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 "Among Us' Improbable Rise To The Top Of Twitch". Site. 9 September 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "What Among Us' New Content Updates Will Be". Site. 1 October 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
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  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Among Us Devs Have Created a Gaming Phenomenon, Albeit Two Years After It Launched". Site. 22 September 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
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  66. "Indie Games of the Month - Three Classic Flash-Based Games get the Remaster Treatment". Site. September 21, 2020. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
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