Shovel Knight Sells 180,000 In First Month, 60% Of Sales On Nintendo Platforms

By Ishaan . August 6, 2014 . 8:58am

Yacht Club Games have provided a detailed breakdown of the sales numbers and budget for Shovel Knight. In addition to the sales figures, there’s a lot of other interesting info to wade through as well. That said, let’s begin with the sales.


In its first week, Shovel Knight sold approximately 75,000 copies. A month after release (June 26th – July 26th), it had sold roughly 180,000 copies. As the pie chart above indicates, Nintendo platforms accounted for the majority of sales.


The 75,000 copies sold during the first week was actually beyond Yacht Club’s expectations, they developer says. Shovel Knight had 15,684 backers on Kickstarter, and other developers that have used the crowdfunding platform estimate that first-week sales of a game are generally 2-4 times the number of Kickstarter backers. In the case of Shovel Knight, this would be 30,000 – 60,000 copies, but instead, it sold 75k.


Additionally, Yacht Club point out that 64% of the game’s Kickstarter funds came from PC backers, with Nintendo backers only providing 36% of the support. However, once the game was actually released, Shovel Knight sold more on the Nintendo platforms than it did on PC (indicated in the pie chart above).


“We think due to the PC nature of Kickstarter, we saw a higher amount of sales on Nintendo’s platform when the game actually got released,” Yacht Club wrote in their breakdown analysis. “Nintendo users are more inclined to buy the game day one rather than through a preorder on Kickstarter.”


Shovel Knight hit the #1 spot on the Nintendo eShop for 3DS, the #2 spot (behind Mario Kart 8 and its free game promotion) for Wii U, and was also among the top 10 games on Steam, despite launching in the middle of the Steam Summer Sale, when a whole bunch of other games were being sold at discounted rates.


While Yacht Club are happy with the game’s sales, they point out that getting to this stage was far from easy. In their breakdown, they go into great depth about the game’s development budget and reveal that for five whole months during development, none of the team’s six members was being paid because they ran out of funding when they decided to delay the game by a couple of months for further polish. You can read the full sales breakdown on this page.


Shovel Knight is currently available internationally on Steam, but launches in Europe, Australia and other territories on the Nintendo devices are still pending. Getting the game to those regions, along with fulfilling the game’s stretch-goals, are part of Yacht Club’s immediate plans for the future.

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  • Herok♞

    Glad they did so well

  • Snorlaxation

    Good for them. :)

  • Good! I was one of the backers who picked a Nintendo console (the Wii U specifically), and it’s been an excellent game so far. I’m glad it sold well for them!

    • Hound

      I haven’t played any games with heavy button pressing on Wii U. Is the main gamepad cumbersome for reasonably high-level play with action-heavy games or does it simply take getting used to?

      • pimpalicious

        If you can play the Mario games comfortably on the gamepad you should be fine with Shovel Knight.

      • I think the gamepad is perfectly fine for gameplay. It’s light and the buttons are responsive. As said below, if you can play a Mario game just fine on it, you can play Shovel Knight.

        Shovel Knight is especially a super responsive and well-controlled game, so you should have little trouble regardless.

  • Namuro

    Well deserved! Congrats!

  • James Williams

    I’ll help with those nintendo sales when it finally comes to the UK!

  • Raymond

    I got the game for the 3ds

  • Strain42

    I’m happy to say I was one of those 180,000. It’s a great game.

  • Quizler

    I don’t have the game yet but I’m probably going to get it on the WiiU since they said it would have some exclusive multiplayer mode

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    it plays and feels like a well made SNES * want a cart if they made one >_>*….so yeah amazing game

    • Satori Satya

      It is an amazing game.

      But in terms of looks, it was more like a very polished NES game.

      Here’s a neat article that explains it:

      • ShawnOtakuSomething

        I was going to say Nes but the Nes has limited color palette. so I guess its more like a Sage Master system/ game gear

        • Satori Satya

          They developers tried their best to stick to the limited NES color palette, though. But they they decided to add a few extra ones.

        • HarakiriKami

          Shovel Knight only uses a 66 color pallette.

          NES has 62

  • Stephen Mc Devitt

    I really want this but I live in Ireland and have a 3DS but not a Wii U or PC.

  • otakumike

    I want this on my Vita. :(

    • pimpalicious

      Sales seem to be pretty good so I wouldn’t be surprised if it is ported over later.

      • CozyAndWarm

        Or maybe the devs are content with the sales and would rather spend their resources making something new?

    • HarakiriKami

      Y u no have a nintendo platform?

      • otakumike

        I have a 3DS, I’m just petty and want trophies. I feel like this type of game will get ported, which is why I’m holding out.

        • HarakiriKami

          Shovel Knight has trophies already and it has some awesome miiverse,streetpass and 3D features.And exclusive game modes and other stuff being patched in later.

          If you feel like waiting 2 years for a port then keep waiting.

          Imo my favorite thing about the game is its rife with cheat codes which change the physics and stuff in the game.

  • nekolife

    Dare I suggest that gamers with Nintendo consoles are predisposed to enjoy the 8-bit graphics? :)

    • Satori Satya

      Explain Retro City Rampage selling better on Sony consoles then.

      • mockturtle

        Four words: Free with PlayStation Plus.

        • Satori Satya

          Games On PlayStation Plus are Not Free.

          Subscribers pay MONEY to continue enjoying “free” games.

          So the dev got his money from having his game available for “free” on PSN+. You better believe it.

          EDIT: And I found a quote from the developer who confirmed that the game sold better on Sony platforms. Independently from the free game promotion on PSN+.

          I included that quote further below on another post.

          • otakumike

            Even so, they did offer it on PS+ and I’m sure that’s how most got their hands on it. Not that it’s a bad thing, I love indies. :)

          • Chersea

            To add to that, it’s perfectly likely that people decided to purchase the game after trying it out free on PS+, once the game expired (since you don’t keep free games forever).

          • otakumike

            You keep them forever, so long as you are a member of ps+

          • Chersea

            I thought that games are free for a month or so, but I’m probably wrong then.

            Maybe the higher sales could be attributed to the game being released on PSN first?

          • otakumike

            It works like this, you have a month to download the game before they rotate it out but once you have it in your download list it’s “yours” for as long as you are a member of ps+. I do notice that people do think like you do but Sony has never done a good job explaining so I can see why you’d think that.

            Now as for the game, what attributed to it’s higher sales I recall them having a few sales where the game was available at a hefty discount and maybe that with the cross buy deal was enough of a deal for people to pick it up on ps.

          • mockturtle

            I won’t dispute either of your assertions. However, the question was how it sold better on Sony consoles. That’s how.

          • Satori Satya

            It was selling better than on any other platform before it was free on the service.

          • mockturtle

            I’d love to see a source for that, but if not, then… I don’t know what to tell you.

          • Satori Satya

            The source for that was the developer himself. Who has been very open about where the game sold best.

            He tweeted: “Indies should definitely jump onto the PS Vita. RCR’s sold much more on PSN than XBLA and more on PS Vita than even PS3.”

            He was also asked about if the sales numbers included the “free” promotion on PSN+, he replied: “”This doesn’t include PS Plus. It’s _SOLD_ far more on PSN than XBLA.”

          • mikebrand83

            RCR might have done quite poorly on WiiWare, but RCR DX’s opening month on the 3DS outsold XBLA’s worldwide LTD:

          • ronin4life

            Wasn’t it also released on PS platforms before any other by several months?

            If this is the same game we are talking about(I may have a different but similar one in my head) It sold phenomenally on 3ds as well even with an even bigger release date gap than the Wii version.

            It also released on WII, not WiiU. So 2 consoles, one outdated in consumer minds severely at this point, compared to 2 still fresh Sony consoles months earlier.

          • darke

            Nope. Simultaneous release in the NA on PS3/Vita, and worldwide on Windows.

            Non-US PS3/VIta was essentially a simultaneous release with the 360 version 3 months later or so; Wii version was later again from memory.

      • HarakiriKami

        Uh that game never got past the threshold on the original WiiWare lol. Retro City Rampage DX did extremely well on the 3DS.

        Are you thinking of hotline miami?

    • dawnbomb

      no stupid, i dare say nintendo is the ONLY platform, ofcorse its the platform with the most sales. and pc users just pirate it anyway.

  • pimpalicious

    I wonder how much more it would have sold on Steam if it released a couple weeks before the Summer sale instead of being hidden during it.

  • Matty

    Ouch… I want to believe GOG is doing better than that..

    • Tom_Phoenix

      It’s unfortunate to see GOG customers represent such a small percentage of the game’s overall performance. Yes, it’s a smaller DD service compared to Steam or even Humble Bundle, but I think we can still do better. Hopefully, things will improve in the long run, especially once the title goes on sale.

    • pekikuubik

      GOG is usually around 10-20%. It probably didn’t help that Shovel Knight was released in the middle of GOG’s amazing (compared to Steam’s) summer sale without a discount and as a result got basically zero exposure on the front page (other than a tiny news item). I also don’t see any mention of GOG on Shovel Knight’s website.

      • darke

        I didn’t realise it was even out on GoG and I’m a little too addicted to the site; so that’s how much the summer sale affected it. :(

  • ronin4life
  • gquain

    I got this game Day 1 though I would have (and still) bought this game on my 3ds if it is going to be localized for Europe. The sales are doing well but we could have totally bombed that if Europe was included.

  • 하세요

    I absolutely adore this game. I beat it last night and I immediately started another file because I needed it again. I enjoy it on 3DS. StreetPass is neat and it just feels like a game one should be able to play anywhere at any time.

    Shovel Knight II needs to be a thing and fast.

    • James Robert Thompson

      They haven’t even made all the content, there’s going to be free DLC coming out for the next year or so yet.

      • 하세요

        I’m fine with either.

  • Göran Isacson

    Still holding out for some sweet, sweet shoveling to come my way. Being European ain’t easy sometimes… but getting this on my WiiU will be worth it.

  • Yan Zhao

    Thats quite a lot of sales on the Wii U! Surprising.

    • PreyMantis

      It’s because most of the third-party games released on it are garbage in comparison to the same games on other consoles.

      • Satori Satya

        Here’s a less cynical response than the one above.

        The real reason is that Wii U owners have embraced indie games. And indie developers seem to love the Wii U’s ecosystem.

        Over 200 games are coming to the console just this year. Mostly because Nintendo provided Unity support.

  • BleuVII

    Yep, this is the only Steam game I’ve ever bought at full price, and it was totally worth it.

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