“Shovel Knight” developer shafts Vita, 3DS “Treasure Trove” owners

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If you’re a huge fan of platformers, or indie games, or have been around in the past few years, you might have heard of “Shovel Knight”: It’s one of the most beloved indie darlings since sliced bread. I’m actually such a big fan, that I bought the “Treasure Trove” edition years and years ago (though for the 3DS, as I didn’t have a Vita at the time… that’s how long ago I bought it). The “Treasure Trove” edition meant that I would get all the DLC ever released on for the game… FOR FREE!.

It’s been a great few years, to Yacht Club Games’ credit: they’ve released tons of DLC, with another huge single player, King of Cards, coming soon. Today, however, they’ve announced that the long-awaited battle mode which was part of the stretch-goals during the original Kickstarter. Titled “Shovel Knight Showdown”, it is set to be quite a fun experience for fans of the series and fans of “todos contra todos” multiplayer games.

Unless you own a Vita or 3DS.

If you “read all about it” (as they suggest in their tweet), you’ll notice one peculiarity in the list of supported platforms:

Click the image to read the release blurb posted on Yacht Club Games’ website.

I only recently noticed this, so I reached out to Yacht Club Games on Twitter to inquire about the issue. As a “Treasure Trove” owner, I thought I was entitled to all the same content as those with console versions.

Yacht Club Games, however, replied confirming that the latest DLC, “Shovel Knight Showdown”, wouldn’t be coming to 3DS. Or Vita.

When asked whether 3DS and Vita owners would be entitled to some sort of remuneration or incentive due to being left out this time around, Yacht Club Games simply said that these platforms would still receive the single-player “King of Cards” DLC (which all other platforms are also getting).

They said that, due to the type of game “Shovel Knight Showdown” is (a local multiplayer experience), it wouldn’t make the jump to 3DS or Vita.

However, there are plenty of local multiplayer experiences on 3DS and Vita (though of course not a single system one). From “Nidhogg” to “Borderlands 2″ to Freedom Wars”, there’s no shortage of games showcasing that it’s possible to have local multiplayer on both systems.

Another interesting point is that Yacht Club Games indicated that they said the battle mode (now known as “Shovel Knight Showdown”) wold not be coming to portable platforms. What I could find, however, was this:

Click on the image to see the original Kickstarter campaign for Shovel Knight.

So, as far as I could find, what they said was that this battle mode *might* not make it to 3DS because of the way multiplayer worked on the platform. There is no mention of the Vita at all, however.

An interesting point to take into consideration is that the 3DS version of “Treasure Trove” cost 3DS owners (and Vita owners) the same as console versions of the game, as can be seen in the image from their original Kickstarter, seen below:

Choose your reward, but choose carefully!

They also reached out to let me know that this isn’t news, as they’ve announced this was happening all the way back in 2017, when “Specter of Torment” released (though, I must admit, I did not read that update at the time… I was too busy playing “Specter”).

While this seems like a sad choice by a super cool dev (and it kind of is), it saddens me that they could have handled it better. They could have either made ad-hoc couch multiplayer a thing (I don’t think it would have been too difficult… though admittedly, my knowledge of game development is limited to the stuff I’ve personally released), or given 3DS and Vita owners a consolation prize due to them not receiving the same amount of content as their console counterparts.

We’re not the only ones puzzled by the decision, though; have a read at some customer tweets below:

What do you think, though? Do you think Yacht Club Games should have made more of an effort to keep portable customers happy? Or are you indifferent to the situation? Let us know in the comments below!

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