Earlier today, Yacht Club Games announced the release dates for the Shovel Knight amiibo, as well as giving a preview of the new features this amiibo has. Many people are still upset about the fact that co-op multiplayer is A) exclusive to the Wii U, and B) locked to a $13 amiibo. Thankfully, that's not going to be the case forever.
You see, three weeks ago, Yacht Club Games did a Reddit AMA on the Wii U subreddit, so I did some investigative game journalism of my own. I asked them what the deal was with the decision to lock amiibo behind this paywall. Their response was that they couldn't justify the costs of local co-op without something like the amiibo.
"Co-op is currently exclusive to the WiiU for a couple of reasons:
-we are using the amiibo as an excuse to develop something like this so for now it's exclusive to Nintendo platforms.
-Doing most kinds of multiplayer on a handheld device means network multiplayer. And network multiplayer is an ENORMOUS task that would involve reworking all of our code just to get it started. The scale of a task like that is just too much for Shovel Knight that means that co-op on the 3DS is out."
"It's not a feature we would have been able to add without a way to justify the expense. So it's not something we are holding back from anyone. During the discussion of what to do for the amiibo, we had a lot of internal back and forth with how to add something unique and special that really worked well with the concept of a toy. We wanted each amiibo to really feel like it's customized to be exactly how you want it so you can take it to your friend's house to show it off/play with them. What we wanted out of an amiibo naturally led us to Co-op. That said, co-op is something that we want all players to experience so we'll be looking at other ways of making it available to everyone!"
So yeah! This definitely changed my opinion on the Shovel Knight amiibo. I'm much more willing to go and purchase this now that the idea of something like co-op multiplayer being exclusive to it and the Wii U is no longer a concern. How nobody else reported on this on the day of the AMA is beyond me.