The success of Palworld is mind-blowing, becoming a potential reason to renew your Xbox Game Pass subscription. The ‘Pokémon with guns’ RPG has more to uncover beneath the surface, but one element continues to be a pain point for developer Pocket Pair. That’s because many players believe Palworld’s creature designs are a little too similar to Pokémon’s, and now, The Pokémon Company is taking matters further with an official investigation.
There’s something peculiar about Palworld, isn’t there? It isn’t exactly one of the best RPG games around, but it hasn’t stopped us from putting in a few hours into its colorful world. However, The Pokémon Company isn’t as enamored with it as Xbox owners. A new statement details it has “received many inquiries regarding another company’s game released in January 2024. We have not granted any permission for the use of Pokémon intellectual property or assets in that game.”
Although the statement doesn’t outright name Palworld, is it pretty obvious which game The Pokémon Company is referring to.
As concerns surrounding the game’s creature designs mount, the statement confirms that further action will be taken: “We intend to investigate and take appropriate measures to address any acts that infringe on intellectual property rights related to the Pokémon.”
Furthermore, The Pokémon Company thanks players for their support, adding that “we will continue to cherish and nurture each and every Pokémon and its world, and work to bring the world together through Pokémon in the future.”
Developer Pocket Pair remains adamant that Palworld isn’t infringing on any Pokémon related elements. Before the game’s release, Pocket Pair CEO Takuro Mizobe told Automation that the studio takes “our games very seriously, and we have absolutely no intention of infringing upon the intellectual property of other companies.” Despite Mizobe’s best intentions, the discussion around AI still looms over Palworld. Mizobe himself previously expressed his fascination with AI as a development tool in 2021 in a series of social media posts.
This is amplified by the release of AI: Art Imposter, a smaller game released by Pocket Pair in 2022 that revolves around generative artwork. The description for the game reads as follows: “You are a progressive artist who commands AI to generate images, and you don’t need aesthetic talent to draw good artwork.”
Outside this controversial topic, it hasn’t affected the game’s popularity. Palworld has passed 7 million sales, though this figure is primarily based on PC sales. Regardless, it is an impression number, considering it almost beat this Spider-Man 2 record on launch weekend. Whether it can find a place as one of the best Xbox games out there remains to be seen.