- The Pokemon Company has announced it is investigating Palworld, a new game that bears striking similarities to Pokemon but includes mature themes of violence and has sold over 8 million copies.
- Palworld allows players to capture, trade, and battle creatures called “Pals” that closely resemble Pokemon, but also violently attack, enslave, and eat them, drawing controversy.
- After initial silence, Pokemon Company released a statement saying they did not grant permission to use Pokemon IP in Palworld and intend to investigate and take action, while Palworld’s developer asked people to refrain from slandering its artists.
The Pokemon Company has announced it is looking into Palworld, a new game that bears striking similarities to the Pokemon franchise but includes more mature themes of violence. Palworld has exploded in popularity, selling over 8 million copies in less than a week.
What is Palworld?
Palworld is an open-world survival game for PCs and Xbox where players can capture, trade, and battle creatures called “Pals” that closely resemble Pokemon. However, Palworld also allows players to violently attack, enslave, and even eat their Pals. This controversial content has drawn criticism amidst the game’s incredible sales success.
Pokemon Company Responds
After days of silence, the Pokemon Company released a statement saying: “We have received many inquiries regarding another company’s game released in January 2024. We have not granted any permission for the use of Pokemon intellectual property or assets in that game. We intend to investigate and take appropriate measures.”
Some have accused Palworld of using AI to copy Pokemon designs, but no evidence has been provided. Palworld’s developer asked people to refrain from slandering the game’s artists.
Palworld’s Meteoric Rise
Just 6 days after launch, Palworld hit 2 million concurrent players on Steam, making it the second fastest-selling game ever behind PUBG. Its popularity is thought to partially stem from frustration with the latest Pokemon games, Scarlet and Violet.
Nintendo Takes Action
The first sign of Nintendo legally challenging Palworld came when a modder received a copyright strike for creating a mod to swap Palworld creatures with Pokemon models. The popular mod site Nexus Mods also said it won’t host Palworld mods with Pokemon, fearing legal action.
Palworld’s success despite its cloning of Pokemon IP has surprised many given Nintendo’s normally swift and aggressive defense of its intellectual property. The company’s investigation into Palworld is ongoing.