Palworld, Pocketpair’s phenomenally successful survival adventure, might soon come under fire for its alleged use of the Pokemon property.
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The game, which has sold more than 8m copies in six days and crossed 2m concurrent players on Steam, is a survival action-adventure where players must craft tools and weapons, build shelters, and participate in combat by collecting creatures called ‘Pals’. These creatures bear a striking resemblance to Pokemon, giving rise to allegations of plagiarism and AI use.
The Pokemon Company, which owns and controls the intellectual property, has now issued a statement regarding the matter, saying that they intend to investigate and “take appropriate measures.” The statement was posted on the official website, and while it doesn’t specifically mention Palworld by name, the mention of a “game released in January 2024” makes it quite clear.
“We have received many inquiries regarding another company’s game released in January 2024,” The Pokemon Company wrote. “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 to address any acts that infringe on intellectual property rights related to the Pokemon. We will continue to cherish and nurture each and every Pokemon and its world, and work to bring the world together through Pokemon in the future.”
Pocketpair has been defending its position since the allegation arose, refuting claims of AI use and even saying that it had cleared the game through legal reviewing.
“We make our games very seriously,” said CEO Takuro Mizobe in an interview Automaton. “We have absolutely no intention of infringing upon the intellectual property of other companies.”
The Pokemon Company has already started taking action against the game in some aspects. It shut down a fan-made mod that replaced Palworld’s Pals with Pokemon, while Nexus Mods, a popular mod hosting website, has refused to host any Palworld mods out of fear of legal repercussions.
Palworld is now available on PC, Xbox Series X/S, and Game Pass.
Mufaddal Fakhruddin has been writing about games and technology for the past 15 years. He has lost count as to how many reviews he has written over the years, but he is sure headphone reviews make up at least 70% of that.