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Palworld developers remain unconcerned about Pokémon comparisons

Palworld developer Pocketpair isn't worried about legal fallout from Nintendo.
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Despite its colloquial hook of ‘Pokémon with guns’, Palworld developer Pocketpair remains confident that the game will not incur any legal fallout or notices of copyright infringement from Nintendo.

In less than a week, open-world survival crafting game Palworld has skyrocketed in popularity to become the third biggest game in Steam history, based on concurrent player count – surpassing huge titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Elden Ring. Palworld has faced a significant amount of criticism online since its full release on January 19 – largely because of design similarities to Pokémon – but now with an all-time peak of 1,582,482 concurrent players, there’s an increased level of scrutiny.

Pocketpair, however, seems largely unconcerned with the discussion. Per Automaton Media, Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizobe was confident that there wouldn’t be any issues with Palworld on a legal front, saying, “We make our games very seriously, and we have absolutely no intention of infringing upon the intellectual property of other companies.”

Read: Palworld has already sold 4 million copies, despite AI concerns

While the team acknowledges Pokémon as the “great predecessor” for monster collecting games, in a separate interview Mizobe confirmed that the game has passed all legal reviews, and described Palworld as being mechanically closer to other sources of inspiration for the game, such as Ark: Survival Evolved.

But while the game may be clear on a legal front, conversation about Palworld remains heated online. Extensive threads on Twitter / X have seen players drawing comparisons between Pokémon characters and Palworld pals – with users CeciliaFae and Barbie-Élite4 highlighting notable similarities in design.

Time will tell whether Palworld’s success will remain undiminished by these claims, but with over 5 million copies now sold, it’s safe to say players have not been deterred thus far.

Steph Panecasio is the Managing Editor of GamesHub. An award-winning culture and games journalist with an interest in all things spooky, she knows a lot about death but not enough about keeping her plants alive. Find her on all platforms as @StephPanecasio for ramblings about Lord of the Rings and her current WIP novel.