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


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.

Ishaan Sahdev
About The Author
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.