Shovel Knight has exceeded sales expectations, thanks mainly to PC

Do you like statistics and exclamation marks? Yacht Club Games has posted a breakdown of sales for its recently released platformer Shovel Knight , and it's a surprisingly interesting read. The Kickstarter funded title released for PC, Wii U and 3DS on June 26, with 64 per cent of pledges coming from the PC community. The game went on to sell a whooping 75,000 copies during its first week on PC and Nintendo's eShop, far exceeding the studio's expectations of between 30,000 and 60,000 copies. 38 per cent of sales in that first week were on PC: a close majority.

A month later the game has sold 180,000, with PC still the most popular platform. This means stretch goals will easily be met without need for further funding, and bodes well for the future of the Los Angeles based studio.

Sales figures aren't very interesting though. The studio also provides a breakdown of its development budget, and it's pretty sobering. Even ostensibly low budget retro games like Shovel Knight cost millions to make, with long hours and low wages apparently the norm. "We ended up operating for five months without money or payments to the team here," the blog post reads .

"It was a difficult period, where some of us were awkwardly standing in front of cashiers having our credit cards declined, drawing from any possible savings, and borrowing money from our friends and family. But we made it to the other side!"

Read the full post here . It's worth the time, as is the game, with our review saying it "lovingly recreates the simple pleasures of 8-bit platformers and improves on them with modern ideas that make every level different and worth playing."

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.