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Retro platformer Shovel Knight, originally released in June 2014, recently passed two million copies sold. Developer Yacht Club Games dropped the number in a blog post, which also offers a detailed breakdown of where those sales came from. Before that, some more good news: in celebration of this milestone, Shovel Knight is 20 percent off on Steam, GOG and Humble for the next week.
Shovel Knight originally released on PC, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, so it's no surprise it's sold the most units on PC (24.4 percent of sales) and 3DS (23.9 percent of sales). More surprising is the Nintendo Switch's spot at third place (17.6 percent of sales) given its newness—Shovel Knight only came to Switch in March 2017.
The Switch's launch month also surpassed PC's launch month by 40,000 copies. But outside of the Switch's sales spike, PC acts as the best acid test for Shovel Knight's sales. Roughly 170,000 copies sold on PC in 2014, 140,000 in 2015, 100,000 in 2016, and 75,000 in 2017.
While PC is Shovel Knight's biggest platform, Switch is its most profitable. In no small part because the game's price increased to $25 on Switch following the release of its Specter of Torment standalone (compared to $20 on Steam), Yacht Club says Switch has already earned more revenue than any other platform. This also speaks to how frequently it's been discounted on Steam.
Specter of Torment itself, however, has yet to turn a profit. It cost $1.5 million to develop, and it's still in the red. The same goes for the Plague of Shadows add-on, which cost $1 million to make.
Nevertheless, the Yacht Club still fully intends to finish and release Shovel Knight's four-player mode and King of Cards campaign.
"All we can say is that our plans haven’t changed," the studio said. "We made promises during our Kickstarter, and it’s been our mission to deliver on these promises in the most amazing way possible. We wouldn’t be here without that initial support, and we’re going to continue paying it off by exceeding our promises to the best of our ability. Hopefully in the end, we’ll have created a product that will be heralded as one of the most exciting, diverse, complete platformers out there."
Shovel Knight's numbers are consistent with what we heard when we spoke to the creators of Darkest Dungeon, Super Meat Boy and SteamWorld Dig 2 about the state of indie games on Switch versus Steam. Collectively, they agreed that Switch is a good home for indie games and undeniably the new hotness, but that PC still offers considerable advantages.
NES-inspired platformer Shovel Knight is getting a NES-inspired add-on: the three heroes from ultra-hard '90s beat 'em up series Battletoads are leaping into the game.
Rash, Zitz, and Pimple have been exclusive to Xbox One for the past two years but now you can stomp them on PC during three optional boss battles. The green amigos arrive in a free update, and players controlling Shovel Knight can find them in a secret room off the Hall of Champions (hint: go right).
Defeat them one by one in levels that are full of homages to the Battletoads series and you'll be rewarded with some new armour and the chance to befriend the trio.
The update also allows you to bind your mouse buttons to in-game actions (I can't really imagine playing it with a mouse, but there you go), fixes some bugs and improves controller support. The full change log is here.
The Battletoads have escaped the confines of Microsoft’s corporate grasp and have made their way to the greater PC audience through Shovel Knight [official site] update. You can now meet, battle and befriend the burly amphibian trio in a whole new level. This was initially exclusively to Xbox then spread to the Windows 10 version, and thanks to last week’s update (full patch notes here) everyone on PC can now play it.
The final campaign of fab platformer Shovel Knight [official site] will arrive in 2018, developers Yacht Club Games have announced. Like the Plague of Shadows and Specter of Torment bonus campaigns before it, King of Cards stars one of the main game’s villains on an adventure of their own. This time it’s the dastardly King Knight, who’ll bouncing and bopping his way through four worlds and over thirty courses. It was previously expected some time in 2017 but now 2018 is the lucky year. (more…)
Specter of Torment, the next add-on coming free to cracking throwback platformer Shovel Knight [official site], should be bouncing our way in April. That’s the word from developers Yacht Club Games, who previously said more broadly that it’d arrive in spring. Like the Plague Knight expansion, Specter of Torment will bring a campaign starring another knight, this time Specter Knight with his swish wall-climbing and air-dash attacks. Here, check his moves out in this trailer from December: … [visit site to read more]
Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment is the latest in an ongoing series of post-launch campaigns for the very beautiful and very fun platformer. Announced last month as part of a (rather confusing) re-structure of how DLC will be doled out for the game, Yacht Club Games has announced that Specter of Torment will release in April – though it'll most likely release first for the Nintendo Switch next month.
The announcement was made on Twitter, where a nice animated .gif also featured. In case you missed the news last month, Yacht Club Games is splitting each of Shovel Knight's campaigns into standalone games, though people who already own the base will continue to get the expansions for free. Other bonuses are afoot as well, including local co-op and a local "battle mode".
Some big changes are coming to NES-inspired platformer Shovel Knight, beginning with a new name, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, which will contain the original Shovel Knight campaign, now known as Shovel of Hope, as well as the Plague of Shadows campaign and the upcoming Specter of Torment. To break that down a bit: Plague of Shadows was a free DLC campaign first released in September 2015, while Specter of Torment is all new.
The renaming was necessary because developer Yacht Club Games will soon offer each campaign, which were originally intended as free updates, as separate, standalone games.
"We want to keep our promise of releasing free content for all players. We also want to continue building these campaigns and features to be the best! Somewhere along the way, the game has simply gotten too big!" Yacht Club said in the Treasure Trove FAQ. "It’s difficult for many players out there to find everything or even know that these campaigns exist. We believe that providing standalone versions will provide better entry points for different types of players and allow more people to continue enjoying each adventure on their next favorite platform."
Yacht Club also announced plans for a new, not-yet-officially-named four-player "Battle Mode" (local only, not online) and a fourth campaign for the King Knight, which it described as "a crazy campaign with the gilded goob himself." Both are expected to be ready for release later this year, and will be included with the Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove.
Another bonus: local co-op, previously only available on Wii U, is coming to the PC for free, too.
All existing Shovel Knight owners will automatically be updated to the Treasure Trove edition, "and will continue to get each of the planned free campaigns and features via updates." The price of Shovel Knight will be going up sometime in the spring, but until it does, purchasing it at the current price ($15/£11/€15) will get you the Treasure Trove upgrade. If you want it, in other words, better to do it now than later.