Palworld has already sold 4 million copies, despite AI concerns

Palworld has become a major smash hit, despite some players voicing concerns about its artwork and character designs.
palworld pocketpair developers

Pocketpair’s wild monster-catching RPG Palworld, which premised itself on being like Pokemon, but with guns, has officially sold four million copies in its first three days on sale. Its ascent has been rapid, with the developer noting one million sales just eight hours after launch, followed by two million sales at 24 hours, and then three million sales at 40 hours.

Per the SteamDB charts, it already holds the record for fifth most popular concurrently played game, boasting an all-time peak of 1.292 million players on PC. That puts it ahead of the all-time peaks for Cyberpunk 2077, Elden Ring, Hogwarts Legacy, and Baldur’s Gate 3. As of writing, it has 828,271 concurrent players, which is significantly higher than any other game on Steam.

It’s an impressive achievement – and one that developer Pocketpair will no doubt be proud of – but with this mainstream attention has also come resurfaced discourse around Palworld, and allegations around Pocketpair’s potential use of AI.

Read: ‘Pokemon with guns’ game Palworld gets an insane new trailer

Since Palworld was announced, many Pokemon fans have taken to social media to point out the familiarity of certain character designs. With the game’s full release, these designs have been given a greater spotlight, with players now pointing out elements of Palworld designs that appear to be directly inspired by existing Pokemon.

As Barbie-Élite4 pointed out on Twitter / X, in Palworld you can spot a creature called a Dumud which has a head fin that closely resembles that of Pokemon‘s Sobble. Grintale, a cat-like creature, has the face of Galarian Meowth. There’s also Jolthog, which resembles Shaymin, and a Pal named Wixen that appears very similar to Braixen. Over the course of a Twitter thread, Barbie-Élite4 has further broken down other similarities between Pals and Pokemon, calling into question the design processes for Palworld.

And they’re not the only one pointing out these similarities, with Palworld‘s Twitter / X tag currently filled with debate around the game’s design elements, and how certain Pal designs appear to crib from the Pokemon franchise. Some commenters have speculated that Palworld‘s character designs may have been AI-assisted, while others simply believe the lack of originality is the result of developer inexperience.

At this stage, Pocketpair has yet to comment on the accusations – but at this stage, it doesn’t appear plagiarism allegations will stifle the success of Palworld. It’s already proved to be a runaway success, with its popularity continuing to grow by the hour.

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.