The Pokémon Company finally put out a statement addressing the similarities between the designs of some creatures from its namesake franchise and Pocketpair’s viral monster-collecting survival crafting game Palworld. The company says it is investigating the matter.
Pocketpair’s Palworld has been this month’s surprise gaming hit, selling over 8 million copies in less than a week. While its survival crafting gameplay is quite different from the turn-based RPG stylings of Pokémon, Palworld has still garnered a reputation as “Pokémon with guns” ever since its reveal, and comparisons have only continued since its early access launch on January 19. Now, The Pokémon Company says it’s investigating the game after players pointed out similarities between Palworld and Pokémon’s creatures.
“We have received many inquiries regarding another company’s game released in January 2024. We have not granted any permission for the use of Pokémon intellectual property or assets in that game,” The Pokémon Company said in a statement on its corporate website on Thursday. “We intend to investigate and take appropriate measures to address any acts that infringe on intellectual property rights related to the Pokémon. We will continue to cherish and nurture each and every Pokémon and its world, and work to bring the world together through Pokémon in the future.”
As is typically the case with anything that gets this popular, lots of discourse and intense scrutiny followed. In particular, people have claimed that Pocketpair ripped off or plagiarized both fan-made and actual Pokémon designs, with some theorizing that AI tools could’ve been used.
Although that’s all just speculation at this time, it’s clear that some of the visual similarities between Pals and Pokémon have caught the attention of The Pokémon Company, who have decided that this is an issue worth investigating further.
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