Developer Yacht Club Games has opened up its accounting books, showing the surprising success of Shovel Knight and the unsalaried months it took to get there.
The informative blog post also provides some uncommon insight into the reality of game development after Kickstarter.
The game ultimately moved 180,000 copies in its first month, counting copies distributed to the game's 15,000-odd Kickstarter backers and those sent to reviewers. That exceeded Yacht Club's total sales expectations of 150,000 - that's with the Nintendo versions still unreleased outside of the US.
During the game's Kickstarter, 64 percent of backers asked to receive the game on PC as opposed to 15 percent on Wii U and 21 3DS. Those numbers evened out after the game hit eShop and Steam, with Nintendo platforms accounting for 60 percent of total sales in the first month.
Release has been rewarding for Yacht Club, but getting there was another matter: Shovel Knight missed its original March 31 release date by nearly three months, leaving the developers with little room in a budget they had already stretched thin.
"We ended up operating for five months without money or payments to the team here," the studio said in its sales breakdown. "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!"
The studio is now focused on finishing localized versions of the game and working on its post-release stretch goals, including letting players experience the entire campaign as one of two boss characters.