Porting Among Us to PS4, Xbox One Not As Easy It Seems

Among Us may have been released in 2018, but the murder-mystery title saw a huge spike in popularity this year, even rivaling that of Fall Guys. However, the internet’s new favorite game of deduction is still not available on consoles such as the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.

On September 4, InnerSloth tweeted that Among Us hit 1.5 million simultaneous players, and the game is also consistently the most-watched title on Twitch. So, it would make sense for a console release soon, right?

Well, one of the InnerSloth developers gave a very reasonable explanation as to why this is not as easy it sounds.

Studio programmer Forest Willard played Among Us with a bunch of Twitch streamers recently, and streamer 5uppp asked him if InnerSloth was planning on making Among Us 2 – the title’s upcoming sequel – available on consoles.

Willard’s response then revealed the main obstacle standing in the way of a console version, and that is player communication.

Chatting to other crewmates about who the possible impostor is is part of the game’s core experience, and if done incorrectly, this could completely ruin the game. As such, it’s understandable how porting Among Us – a game largely consisting of text-based chats – to consoles would be difficult.

“[A console port] is something we’re starting to talk about,” Willard says in the stream. He continues on to say, “but we’d have to write a system for quick comms. It’d basically be for randoms, like Rocket League. I don’t know if we’d be able to implement console voice chat or not. I know one of the first things we want to add is a friend’s list-type account system because it’s real hard to do anything without that s***.”

At the moment, Among Us doesn’t have a voice chat functionality. In order for players to communicate with each other, they either have to rely on the in-game chatroom that shows up when a dead body is reported or if an emergency meeting is requested, or use a separate app like Discord where they can voice chat.

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On the one hand, InnerSloth could make use of the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live’s voice chat servers. However, the next concern would be those people who don’t want to use voice chat but still want to play.

If played on a console, Among Us would require players to use a mouse and a keyboard in order to type and participate in the chatroom. This is possible to do on both PS4 and Xbox One, however, it’s definitely inconvenient. As Willard said, they could also try out an alternative communications system.

This could possibly similar to Rocket League’s ping system, or perhaps a variation of Overwatch’s communication wheel. A quick communications solution like this would allow players to accuse another player, or ask where the dead body was found.

However, Among Us is more than just asking simple questions – it requires complex exchanges of information between the crewmates that this kind of solution just might not be enough.

Another option the developers could do is make the console version of Among Us voice-chat only. The downside is that this is only good with friends, as it could get toxic and troll-y with other random players real fast.

To make it even harder, making the consoles voice-chat only would mean that InnerSloth would need to rely on the individual console’s voice system, which wouldn’t allow cross-platform communications to begin with.

The last possible solution would be for InnerSloth to host voice chats on their own servers, which, again, is impossible given the very high player volume of Among Us as well as the fact that InnerSloth is only composed of three people.

There’s no more hope for the current version of Among Us to have a console port, but there’s still a chance for the sequel. Willard said that they are currently brainstorming ideas on how to make a console version work, and since Among Us 2 won’t be released until mid-to-late 2021, then there’s definitely still time for them to figure it out.

Aletheia
Aletheia
Cat and literature-lover. I play RPG games when I have the time.

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