Phantom didn't exist nor any wallet that actually displayed NFTs on Solana
There was no NFT metadata standard at that time. No standard place to store images/etc.
There wasn't anything like this on Solana at the time. No big collection and certainly no big collection that wants to include a game.
I mention all of this because at the time, creating a collection like this on Solana was a little crazy.
Image by @tengyart on Unsplash
There were certainly individual, badass artists releasing 1/1 NFTs, and experiencing the same challenges, but no 1/5/10/20k collections like on other chains.
Kreechures were originally intended to be released one at a time on a 10-15 minute schedule. That schedule, like the original supply, wasn't something collectors on Solana were looking for.
20k was less than half the size of similar collections on other chains but ended up being more than double almost all projects that came after Kreechures. The max supply was changed to 5k and the rest of the collection went through the generative process to be created.
How many are there?
There are currently less than 5,000 Kreechures that have been created to date, separated into two Decks (Decks 1 & 2). An individual deck has a max of 2500 Kreechures.