It’s always great to see small video game studios see big success, such as with the surprise hit Rocket League, which has rocketed to the top of the charts with millions of copies sold. This week, another mega-hit has been added to the best-selling list: Yacht Club Games’ old-school adventure Shovel Knight.

The developer posted on its blog, boasting about the huge success of the Kickstarter-funded game, which has sold over 1.2 million copies since its release—with one million alone coming from digital sales. It reached this success without a major advertising campaign, and instead relied heavily on social media buzz and word-of-mouth recommendations.

“We couldn’t be happier that Shovel Knight is still loved and played years after its release,” said the post.

A majority of the game’s sales came from both Steam and Nintendo 3DS platforms, although other systems, like the Wii U, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, also accounted for a good chunk of them.


Ever since its initial release on Nintendo platforms a couple of years ago, the game has become a huge cult hit, even getting to the point that Nintendo allowed the creation of a special Shovel Knight Amiibo figurine, which has since sold 180,000 units to date.

The company certainly knew how to cater Shovel Knight to every gamer’s taste. The Wii U and 3DS releases generated lots of attention, and the game has also benefitted from the release of free downloadable content such as the Plague of Shadows expansion. Meanwhile, both the PlayStation 4/3/Vita and Xbox One versions of the game got exclusive levels featuring original franchises, including the Knight’s scuffle with God of War‘s Kratos in the PlayStation versions, and a run-in with the Battletoads on XB1.

Speaking with Gamasutra, programmer David D’Angelo couldn’t help but be surprised by Shovel Knight‘s sales. “We’re still in a bit of shock here! Previously, a successful game in our portfolio would barely break (50,000) copies sold.”

And the game isn’t done yet. Yacht Club Games is already hard at work on additional (free) content for the game, as well as a hardcover art book for its most devoted Kickstarter investors.

“We hope to finally conclude Shovel Knight‘s long development journey at the end of this year,” D’Angelo added. “It’s been a really fun few years, and we couldn’t be more grateful that you’ve all supported us through this time.”

Now comes the inevitable question of “What’s next?” for the team, although a Shovel Knight sequel may not be out of the question.