The Makers of Mega-Hit Video Game 'Among Us' Had to Scramble to Make a Merch Store After Fans Made Knockoffs
Everyone has been going nuts over the game “Among Us” in quarantine. If you haven’t played it (or don’t even really understand how it works beyond the memes that pop up), well, let’s just say you’re … among us.
But we don’t have to actually play it to see how much of a phenomenon it’s been. Those little spaceman-looking guys have popped up in memes on social media often enough for us to know the game exists and the general concept—overcoming paranoia long enough to cooperatively root out the imposter spaceman before he eats your entire crew.
Like most phenomenons, people want to buy something that shows how much they love it. The problem was that InnerSloth, the game’s developer, didn’t have a functioning merchandise store. The page existed on its site, but there was nothing in it. So, third-party sellers made their own merchandise, and InnerSloth never saw a dime from the sales.
That was a problem for InnerSloth, obviously. What good is creating a cultural behemoth if you can’t even make the returns you deserve?
“Although we are honored and overwhelmed by all of the fanart enthusiasm, selling unauthorized merchandise featuring Among Us characters, names, sayings, scenes, stories and artwork (collectively, the ‘IP’) is illegal, and a violation of Innersloth’s IP rights,” the company said, according to Essentially Sports. “In order to preserve their IP rights, Innersloth can’t allow unlicensed merchandise to be created and sold, without maintaining quality control and oversight. Also, buying your Among Us merch from official sources will ensure that you are supporting the developers that help create the fandoms you love!”
but the creators of among us have told y’all not to make merchandise with their characters :// https://t.co/gMYjYDZfeO
— jackielantern🎃 (@jackiebean__) October 19, 2020
InnerSloth fixed that quickly, and launched an official merchandise store, ensuring that it doesn’t go the way of NASA, where its logo is used on branded merchandise without it ever actually making any of that money itself.
The doors are open! Go get new, official Among Us merch at https://t.co/KJ4xNleMw0!
And we're just getting started: we’ll have more items in coming weeks including figures, plushies, and more! pic.twitter.com/SsvwAvaqti
— DUAL WIELD STUDIO | KICKSTARTER LIVE! (@dualwieldstudio) November 7, 2020
To InnerSloth’s credit, too, it actually made its merchandise fairly priced. As Essentially Sports pointed out, a lot of video game developers might try to use the hype as an excuse to jack up prices. A coffee mug costs $12. A T-shirt costs $27. A laptop case will cost $30.
The store is pretty impressive, too. Unlike the small merch drops that have become so popular in streetwear, and therefore have bled into normal e-commerce, there is a ton of variety in the products InnerSloth is selling. Individual T-shirt designs come in multiple colors. Designs are used on things like blankets, mouse pads and laptop cases.
InnerSloth might have come to the e-commerce table late, but when it did finally come around, it did it the right way.
The only problem is that, due to COVID-related concerns, InnerSloth is estimating that some T-shirts might take eight to 10 weeks to arrive. By that time, the world might have moved onto the next big game.