2012 isn’t even over yet, but Kickstarter has already declared it the Year of the Game. We’ve seen some crazy game submissions on the site, but the company has a good reason for its pronouncement: money.

The company has revealed that so far in 2012, seven of the 11 projects that have crossed $1 million are games, and an eighth is a comic about a game. More dollars have already been pledged this year for game projects than in any other category.

Here are the top five categories by dollars pledged from January 1 to August 31:

  1. Games — $50 million.
  2. Film — $42 million.
  3. Design — $40 million.
  4. Music — $25 million.
  5. Technology — $16 million.

At first I thought this wasn’t anything new, but then I realized not only have I barely heard of Kickstarter prior to 2012, but I’ve heard of very few non-game submissions on the site. Consider this: Games has gone from the eighth most-funded category in Kickstarter history to the second most-funded.

The games category saw $48,190 pledged in 2009. That number increased 10-fold to $519,885 in 2010. The figure then septupled to $3,615,841 in 2011. The biggest jump came this year, and as I’ve already mentioned, it’s not even over yet: an almost 14-fold increase to $50,330,275.

You can probably see it better in this graph:

Last year, just 3.6 percent of all dollars pledged were to games. This year, the category is at 23 percent. Gamers are also Kickstarter’s most frequent backers: people who first back a Games project have backed 2.43 projects on average, compared to 1.78 projects for all other backers.

Kickstarter thinks the catalyst for this growth happened in February, when a video game project called Double Fine Adventure raised $1 million in its first 24 hours. The gaming world hasn’t looked at Kickstarter in the same way since; look at the number of game projects launching each month beginning in February:

Now that the relationship has been made, I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon. Kickstarter agrees: “Games give players the power to take control and decide what happens. Kickstarter gives backers the power to take control and decide what happens.”

Image credit: stock.xchng