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News 12-28-12 12:30 PM

The biggest gaming stories of 2012'from extra screens to extra endings
http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-conten...top_medium.jpg Image courtesy of Double Fine/GDC

There's never really a calm time in the game industry. Technological and market forces are constantly pushing the industry in new directions, both as a business and as an artistic medium. Still, 2012 felt like an especially eventful year for gaming, with long-standing trends like digital distribution, user-created content, and mobile/tablet gaming coming together in some new and interesting ways. Take a look at the evidence with the biggest gaming stories of the year.

Crowdfunding helps developers get around publishers

By far the most important, far-reaching trend in the gaming business this year was developers forgoing the traditional publisher model and reaching out directly to customers for startup funding through services like Kickstarter. Double Fine got the ball rolling by raising $3.2 million for its "Adventure Game" Kickstarter, but that was soon followed by $3 million for a Wasteland sequel, $4.1 million for Obsidian Entertainment's Project Eternity, and more than $6.3 million for Chris Roberts' Wing Commander-alike Star Citizen.

Hardware makers got in on the crowdfunding revolution too, raising $8.6 million for the Android-based Ouya console and nearly $2.5 million for the Oculus Rift head-mounted display. We could keep listing Kickstarter gaming projects large and small, but there's only so much space on our servers...

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