Palworld mod showcase featuring Pokémon characters taken down by Nintendo

Nintendo is seemingly watching the development of Palworld closely, particularly as players begin working on mods.
palworld game nintendo dmca

Nintendo has taken down a video showcasing a planned mod for monster-catching game Palworld which would have converted in-game character models to resemble iconic Pokémon. The mod was created by YouTuber ToastedShoes, and briefly caused major excitement amongst the Palworld community. But as quickly as it was revealed, concerns arose about its use of Pokémon intellectual property, and potential backlash from Nintendo.

As the company has now confirmed, it remains fiercely protective of its brands, with ToastedShoes revealing that hours after posting the video, it has been claimed by Nintendo in a DMCA strike.

“Nintendo has come for me, please leave me in your thoughts and prayers,” the modder said. As a result of this DMCA claim, a planned public release for the mod has been cancelled, and it’s likely it will never see the light of day. A video of the mod was live briefly, but was also later claimed by Nintendo.

Read: Palworld developers remain unconcerned about Pokémon comparisons

The outcome here is fairly unsurprising.

As a major competitor to Pokémon – and one that seemingly borrows design ideas from the franchise – Nintendo is likely watching Palworld closely. At six million copies sold since launch on 18 January 2024, it’s swiftly becoming a notable rival, and one that keen players are enjoying worldwide.

At this stage, no formal proceedings against Palworld and developer Pocketpair have been initiated – despite some commentators alleging Palworld has exploited Nintendo’s IP – but given Nintendo’s swift action against ToastedShoes here, we can assume the company is monitoring the evolving situation.

While the idea of putting Pokémon into Palworld may strike some as fun and edgy – it is, after all, a game that features creature servitude and guns – Nintendo is seemingly going to significant lengths to separate its brand from this new monster-catching sim. Those looking to mod Palworld in similar fashion will need to be wary of Nintendo’s strict approach, going forward.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.