Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

The Pokémon Company is investigating Palworld after plagiarism suspicions

Three sheep-like Pals use guns in Palworld.
Pocketpair

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Tomas Franzese
Gaming Staff Writer
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
All new Pokémon in The Teal Mask DLC
A big green bear Pokémon in the teal mask.

Even though it isn't a new generation, The Teal Mask DLC for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is still introducing a handful of new Pokémon to add to your Pokédex. Whether or not you've already been filling out and completing your collection in the base game, everyone is curious to see what new types, designs, and abilities a new set of Pokémon brings to the table. Here are all the brand new Pokémon you can find while exploring the Land of Kitakami and their types.
Every new Pokémon in The Teal Mask

Ogerpon (4 types)
Ogerpon is the newest Legendary to be added to the series, and is by default a Grass type. However, in keeping with the theme of masks, it will change its form and type depending on what mask it is wearing, such as the Wellspring mask, Hearthflame mask, and Cornerstone mask. By default, Ogerpon is wearing the titular Teal mask.
Okidogi
This is a dog-themed Poison and Fighting-type Legendary that is a Hero of Kitakami. This Pokémon has no evolutions.
Munkidori
This curious monkey is a Poison and Psychic-type Legendary that also holds the title of Hero of Kitakami. Munkidori has no evolutions.
Fezandipiti
The final Hero of Kitakami is Fezandipiti, the Poison and Fairy-type Legendary. As usual, this Legendary can't evolve.
Dipplin
A rare Grass and Dragon type, Dipplin is an evolution of Applin.
Poltchageist
You could probably guess Poltchageist was a Grass and Ghost type by its name and design. This Pokémon can evolve into Sinistcha using either an Unremarkable Teacup or Masterpiece Teacup.
Sinistcha
The evolution of Poltageist we just talked about, Sinistcha remains a Grass and Ghost type.

Read more
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet DLC The Teal Mask arrives in September
Some of the new Pokemon from Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero Part 1 - The Teal Mask.

As the final major announcement of the August 8 Pokémon Presents, The Pokémon Company gave a deep dive into the two DLCs that make up The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero expansion for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. The first of these, The Teal Mask, even got a September 13 release date.

Explore beyond Paldea's borders in The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero! ?️

Read more
Pokémon Presents August 2023: how to watch and what to expect
Pikachu drinks coffee in Detective Pikachu Returns.

The Pokémon Company will hold yet another Pokémon Presents today. This presentation will likely feature games like Detective Pikachu Returns and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet's upcoming expansions. If you want to watch this Pokémon Presents as it airs live today, we've outlined where and how to do that, as well as what you should expect from the livestream.

When is the August 2023 Pokémon Presents
The August 2023 Pokémon Presents airs at 6 a.m. PT today According to The Pokémon Company, the presentation will last about 35 minutes. This makes it the longest Pokémon Presents yet, as these livestreams usually hue closer to around the 20-minute mark.
How to watch the August 2023 Pokémon Presents
Like the Pokémon Presents that came before it, today's showcase will air on The Official Pokémon YouTube channel. You can watch the livestream below.
Pokémon Presents | 8.8.2023
What to expect from the August 2023 Pokémon Presents
The description for the event states that this Pokémon Presents will feature "Pokémon news and a spotlight on the latest happenings across the brand it comes to games." When it comes to upcoming games, there are multiple things that are almost guaranteed to show up here. Detective Pikachu Returns launches on October 6, and our only real look at it so far was in the June Nintendo Direct. As such, this would be an excellent place for a deep dive into its gameplay and story, showing how this game evolves on what the 2018 3DS game established.

Read more