Games projects on the crowd-funding website Kickstarter have now
raised over $50 million in 2012 alone
, making them the biggest project type by funding. That's more than 12 times as much as all three previous years put together - the hilarious graph above gives you some idea.
Kickstarter itself has grown massively, of course, but the games explosion is wildly disproportionate to that: last year, only 3.6% of funding pledged through the site was spent on games. This year, the proportion is six times as much - 23%.
The boom started with Double Fine's adventure game project, whose
attracted enough media attention to make Kickstarter a household name among gamers.
Since then, million-dollar success stories have become almost commonplace. The latest is Planetary Annihilation -
a huge-scale RTS with maps that span multiple worlds
- which has just hit $1.5 million.
Seeing big industry names like Tim Schafer using the service has given Kickstarter a trustworthiness among gamers that's contributed to this huge increase in pledges. It's worth being aware, though, that Kickstarter themselves
don't guarantee you'll get what a project promises
, and won't refund your money if you don't. The person you're trusting when you back a Kickstarter project is the project creator, and trust is the operative word.