The Pokémon Company has announced it intends to investigate alleged copyright infringement by Palworld, a popular Pokémon-inspired survival game that has drawn accusations of plagiarism since its release. Many players have pointed out similarities between the “Pals” in Palworld and Pokémon, prompting them to alert The Pokémon Company. In a statement, the company stated it did not grant any permissions for the use of their intellectual property in the game, and expressed its intent to “take appropriate measures” if necessary.
Despite potential copyright troubles, Palworld’s release has garnered a hugely positive response. Developed by the Japanese indie studio Pocketpair, Palworld quickly exceeded 2 million concurrent players on Steam. The game’s incredible rise in popularity surpassed Counter-Strike’s peak and is now culminating in investigation from The Pokémon Company due to similarities with their characters, and a subsequent mod that added actual Pokémon to Palworld leading to a takedown notice from Nintendo.
The Pokémon resemblances in Palworld, which is also available on Xbox and through a Game Pass subscription, have been obvious for quite a while. However, it is uncertain whether The Pokémon Company was aware of these similarities prior to Palworld’s release. The recent surge in the game’s success and pervasive buzz surrounding it have rendered it impossible for The Pokémon Company to ignore any longer, necessitating an investigation into potential intellectual property violations.