Never underestimate the dread power of K-pop. A month and a bit after online social deception game Goose Goose Duck burst onto Steam’s most-played charts (opens in new tab) on the back of a stream from BTS member Kim Tae-hyung (opens in new tab), the game has already smashed through the concurrent players’ record of its inspiration, Among Us. Goose Goose Duck reached a peak concurrent player count of 563,677 (opens in new tab) earlier today, beating Among Us’ all-time high by over a hundred thousand players.
The incredible surge in popularity has actually proven a bit of a problem for the game’s devs, who tweeted a few days ago that their servers had buckled under the pressure. “We expected a large increase in players but not like this,” tweeted the game’s official account, adding in a later reply to a fan that the developers were “in communication with providers to drastically increase [their] capacity”. Service was restored in a few hours (opens in new tab), but it’s clear that the game’s sudden success has been a surprise to its creators, similar to how Among Us’ popularity blindsided the team at Innersloth (opens in new tab).
If you’re somehow unfamiliar with the latest multiplayer phenomenon, or you’re just not a K-pop stan (I’d keep quiet about that if I were you), here’s a brief rundown of what Goose Goose Duck actually is. It’s, uh, Among Us, but with geese and ducks. To be fair, it does expand on a few of Innersloth’s fundamentals. It has more roles and modes, for one, including a “Dine and Dash” mode that pits teams of killer ducks against hapless geese who have to try to survive until a timer runs out. It’s easy to see how people who have already poured hundreds of hours into Among Us might shift over to the wider—but similar—offerings of Goose Goose Duck.
Goose Goose Duck’s ascent parallels the rise of Among Us with almost eerie similarity. When the latter became one of the biggest games of the last few years, it owed its popularity in no small part to Korean streamers (opens in new tab). They weren’t BTS-level megastars like Kim, but they did give it a lot of the boost it needed to become one of the defining games of the pandemic lockdown era.
Whether the game keeps its momentum, or the tide of new fans eventually ebbs back over to Among Us, remains to be seen. It has been a little while since Kim did his stream, though, and the game keeps climbing to newer and higher levels of popularity. Perhaps Amongoose (opens in new tab) is here to stay.