The Pokémon Company has issued an official statement addressing concerns over the survival game, Palworld, which has seen phenomenal success with 8 million copies sold in less than six days.
Despite not naming Palworld explicitly, the statement is widely interpreted as a response to the game’s success and allegations regarding similarities between Palworld’s creatures and Pokémon.
The Statement: Protecting Pokémon’s Intellectual Property
“The Pokémon Company has received numerous inquiries about another company’s game released in January 2024,” the statement read. “We have not granted permission for the use of Pokémon’s intellectual property or assets in that game.
We intend to investigate and take appropriate measures to address any act that infringes on the intellectual property rights related to Pokémon. We will continue to cherish and nurture each and every Pokémon and their world, and work to unite the world through Pokémon in the future.”
Palworld’s Developer’s Stance and Legal Review
Palworld’s developer, Pocketpair, has insisted that their game draws more from titles like Ark Survival Evolved and Vanaheim rather than Pokémon.
CEO Takuro Mizobe stated in an interview with Automaton that they had passed legal review without infringement actions taken against them. “We take our games very seriously and have no intention of infringing on other companies’ intellectual property,” said Mizobe.
Action Against Modders and Nexus Mods’ Stance
The Pokémon Company has begun taking action against modders who replace Palworld’s Pals with Pokémon. Nexus Mods has announced it will not host Pokémon mods for Palworld, citing concerns about Nintendo’s legal team.
Palworld: A Huge Success Despite Controversies
Despite these issues, Palworld is undoubtedly a hit. IGN’s Travis Northup praised the game in his review: “Even in its early access state, Palworld is hilariously irreverent, with an impressive amount of content and deep survival mechanics, and is absurdly hard to put down.”
He acknowledged the blatant Pokémon inspirations and some technical flaws but lauded the overall experience, expressing excitement for the game’s evolution.
The Pokémon Company’s Official Statement Raises Questions
The situation between The Pokémon Company and Palworld serves as a reminder of the fine line between inspiration and infringement in the gaming industry. As the investigation unfolds, it will be intriguing to see the outcome and its implications on the future of game development and intellectual property rights.