Here's everything that's holding up Shovel Knight's European launch

Not to mention Australia and Japan

Here's everything that's holding up Shovel Knight's European launch
| Shovel Knight

Yacht Club Games wants you to know exactly why Shovel Knight is not yet available in Europe (and Australia and Japan) on 3DS and Wii U.

So, the small studio behind the Gold Award-winning platformer has gone into fine detail about the localisation, rating, certification, and business practicalities behind launching a game overseas.

"Releasing one game in every territory in the world is not a small amount of work," the studio says, "especially for a team of half a dozen people."

First, the game needs to be rated - by PEGI in most of Europe, by USK in Germany, and other boards in other continents.

Plus, "different ratings administrations have different processes for what they need to see before they can evaluate a game for rating." Some need hours of video, some need a highlight reel, some need to play the game firsthand.

Shovel Knight

Then the game needs to be localised into French, Italian, German, and Spanish. Even for a defiantly retro, NES-inspired platformer, Shovel Knight contains over 11,000 words. And that doesn't count store descriptions and e-manuals.

Plus, "translating a game goes simply beyond just flipping a language switch. It may also include making sure jokes and ideas in the game still make sense in another country."

Once the localised text has been implemented, it needs to be tested. "All menu and dialog in the game needs to be verified in all languages to make sure that no unintended issues popped up."

Shovel Knight

Once that's done, it's time for certification, where Nintendo gives the game a final pass. But even though Nintendo of America has given Shovel Knight a thumbs up, "this certification process is separate for each region", so Nintendo of Europe needs to take a fresh look.

That's the short version. You can read the whole thing over on this page and see three handy checklists to see how far along the process is in Europe, Australia, and Japan.

"We’re doing our best to get this game out to everyone as fast as we can," says Yacht Club. Meanwhile, Shovel Knight is available on Steam, worldwide, right now. Oh consoles. You so crazy.

Mark Brown
Mark Brown
Mark Brown is editor at large of Pocket Gamer