Shovel Knight’s Retail Woes Put Another Nail in the Coffin of Physical Games


If you've been patiently waiting to get Shovel Knight on disc, I've got some bad news for you, especially if you were planning on picking it up for Xbox One.

According to indie developer Yacht Club Games, "there’s been some tumult with the physical version release of Shovel Knight." As such, the game's release has been delayed to November 3 for those in North America and October 30 in Europe. On top of that, the Xbox One won't be getting a physical version at all. "We really gave it our best effort, but unfortunately, because of publishing policies on that platform that are totally beyond our control, we couldn’t make it happen," the studio explained.


This comes as a huge blow to Xbox gamers, as Shovel Knight distinguished itself on that platform by having bonus Battletoads content. I know there are lots of retro-minded collectors out there who were banking on having a hard copy of that content. It's a shame it will be forever tied to digital.

And… as the cherry on top, the price of the game has been increased! "In an unexpected turn of events, we’ve had to raise the price of our game to $24.99," the studio confirmed. It appears "some retailers ran into trouble with limited space to show off their wares, and the rules in place about where games with certain prices are displayed." Because Yacht Club "didn’t want [their] 'bargain priced' game to go straight to the bargain bin of obscurity, so we had to raise the price."

It's clear that as the indie scene continues to grow, the relevance of the retail sphere is increasingly showing its age. Product placement, publishing policies, and all the other little hurdles developers must clear only make the production of physical versions of their games less and less viable.

What does this say about the future of Kickstarted indie games? Will the likes of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and Yooka-Laylee run into similar issues? Heck, Mighty No. 9 has had its fare share up ups and downs, as the wait for its release continues. Make no mistake, physical games are fading fast, and the indie scene only speeding that process along.

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