Did Palworld Really Plagiarize Pokémon?

Palworld plagiarize Pokémon

There’s no doubt that Palworld has been a massive success since it’s release into early access on January 18. The game has sold over 5 million copies in three days and became Steam’s third-highest played game ever. However, there is plenty of controversy surrounding the game, namely whether or not Palworld plagiarized Pokémon with its character designers.

When it was first revealed, Palworld was deemed as “Pokémon with Guns”, a meme that kept growing up through the game’s release. It wasn’t until it launched that people started to point out seemingly how true the statement is

Almost immediately after launch, people took to social media to compare the game’s Pals against various Pokémon. And the results, well, you can see for yourself.

There are many other examples around social media comparing the character designs. That said, there has also been many coming to the defense of the game by referencing other franchises like Digimon. It’s a debate that seems to have no real end in site.

Insider Gaming has reached out to developer PocketPair multiple times for comment on the allegations, but has yet to receive a response. The only real comment on the matter comes via Japanese publication Automation. Company CEO Takuro Mizobe says that the game cleared all of its legal reviews ahead of release.

“We make our games very seriously, and we have absolutely no intention of infringing upon the intellectual property of other companies,” he said while comparing the game more to games like Ark than Pokémon.

Insider Gaming has also reached out to Nintendo and Game Freak, both parties declined to comment.

Do you think Palworld, specifically its characters, resembles Pokémon a little to closely? For more Insider Gaming, read about why 2024 could be known as the “year of closures” in the gaming industry.