Indie video games are independently made games produced by either one person or a small group of people. These games are created without the backing of a video game publisher.
Because a video game publisher isn't involved in the creation of these video games, funding is often out of the pocket of the creators or based on crowdfunding, wherein willing donors from all over the world chip in money for the game's production. In some cases, independent games become commercially successful to the point of mainstream distribution by a larger publisher, Minecraft being one of the most popular examples.
Due to the decreased limitations present when a large backer isn't involved with the creation of the game, many indie games are extremely creative and innovative. Many indie games are praised for their more grim and powerful storylines because there aren't as many limiting factors to content creators, meaning they can truly let their imaginations run wild. Indie games are almost always sold exclusively online in a download format, usually on gaming platforms such as Steam. However, many indie game creators still maintain web stores that allow them to be in total control of the funds they receive from the creation of their game.