What Makes Popular Games Special?


Simon Mourgues


Due to our global situation, there have been many game delays over the past year. These notably include Cyperpunk 2077 which was originally planned to release on September 17th, but was delayed until November 19th, to the chagrin of many fans. However, though one may expect that less games would be coming out, many games have still been released over the year, and this article will focus on some of them which have become extremely popular.


Genshin Impact

Ahh yes, Genshin impact has become a hot topic on the newest 3d action fighting game scene. Genshin Impact is a stunning game with triple-A graphics which is constantly being compared to other big titles, such as Breath of the Wild (though some believe this game surpasses it). However good graphics are not the only thing this game has going for it, it is also a Free to Play Game (with microtransactions), that can be played alone or with friends. Furthemore it is cross platform, allowing players to connect via phone, PC, or PS4 and explore the world of Tevyat together. 

The Chinese developer miHoYo was not new at making these free to play Gacha titles, with experience developing Honkai Impact 3 four years prior. Both games did especially well, but Genshin Impact’s success was tied to its extremely popular closed beta, that appealed to MMORPG and action fans alike. Since it’s release on September 28th, 2020, Genshin impact has made over $100 million dollars, and has been often in the top 20 games by viewership on Twitch. Youtubers have also been playing it often, providing tip videos with millions of views, and miHoYo has been sponsoring some channels to produce pre-rolls, such as Offline TV. The game continues to grow in popularity, and though some people have spent thousands (yes thousands) of dollars on the game, people can begin play for free, allowing players to pick up the game without much effort.


Phasmophobia, which means fear of ghosts, is a co-op horror game that was released by Kinetic Games on September 18th. Co-op horror games are rare, though not unusual by themselves, however Phasmophobia has also gained major popularity on Twitch (with over 150k viewers when writing this) and stands out as different from many other games by being a popular VR game. Yes, in Phasmophobia, you are actually walking around a house with friends as ghost hunters trying to find out information about the entity who is haunting it. This can lead to some very scary moments, especially when the lights go out, which can leave you wandering in the darkness as you are hunted by the ghost, demon, or poltergeist.

The concept itself is not new, but the huge popularity towards a VR game is.One of Polygon’s recent articles mentions touches on how we have had VR for years, but there have been underlying issues such as setup and comfort which is limiting it’s popularity.Luckily with Phasmophobia, the VR system is not necessary, and you can play on PC, though most popular influencers have been lurking through the haunted homes, schools, or mental asylums strapped in (yikes!). The game is continuously going through updates to improve gameplay, and has been among the best selling titles on Steam for the past couple weeks (even soaring past Among Us). I personally recommend playing this game with a group of friends (up to 4), though make sure you turn your volume down so their screaming doesn’t hurt your ears too much.

Among Us

Yes, yes, we know that almost everyone is familiar with Among Us by now. It’s surge in popularity associated with Twitch Streamer Sodapoppin is continuing strong, with hundreds of thousands of viewers on Twitch, and many big name channels focusing on Among us Content such as Disguised Toast and recently Mr.Beast. For this article though, I wanted to focus on another popular influencer who many would probably not expect to play Among Us. 

Last Monday, U.S. House of Rep. member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez streamed Among Us with popular Twitch channels. Her message? To get out there and vote! Her stream was watched live by over 435k members, a huge number especially when considering that the most popular stream ever on Twitch had 635k viewers. This popularity was boosted by streamers such as Poikmane and DrLupo who joined her, and though it was her first time, she did end up winning some games (though not as imposter).

Future Games

There are still some big games coming up such as Cyberpunk 2077 who has been releasing new information about their game over the  past couple months with stylized ads. These ads have been especially popular when they star Keanu Reeves, appealing to fans of his acting, as well as his gritty look to match the setting. While this game has definitely grabbed the most attention, other upcoming games have earned their own following for their release such as Darkest Dungeon 2 or the full release of Baldur’s Gate 3. Personally, I want to play all three games. I doubt I have the time, but if anything I can just sleep less haha.



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