Nintendo is here to takedown your Palworld merch

Nintendo is here to takedown your Palworld merch
Images via The Pokemon Company | Pocket Pair

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Published 

16th Feb 2024 15:07

Even before Pocket Pair's Palworld released, it felt a lot like Icarus flying too close to the sun. And if there's one sun that you don't want to fly too close to in the video game world, it's Nintendo's. The gaming giant is known for obliterating anything that dares look at its IPs the wrong way, putting Palworld in a very precarious situation.

The Palworld team might've found it funny to ride the wave of marketing success while being dubbed "Pokemon with guns," but it brought some unwanted attention from both Nintendo and The Pokemon Company. In this case of David vs. Goliath, Nintendo is making the first move.

Nintendo apparently issues Palworld merchandise takedown

Over on the Palworld Reddit someone shared an apparent Nintendo takedown of a TeePublic design. It seemingly featured Palworld's Sparkit, and while it looks like a cross between a Pikachu and Electabuzz, it's one of the designs that looks less like a Pokemon rip-off. 

By the looks of it, it's a DCMA takedown, which seems odd as Nintendo doesn't own the Palworld license. Of course, without seeing the Sparkit tee, it's hard to see exactly what Nintendo had a problem with. For all we know, the Sparkit tee could've been a little too close to an established Pikachu tee.

Most sided with Pocket Pair, questioning how Nintendo has the cojones to do this. Others accused Nintendo of bullying tactics, knowing that most won't have the money to take on the might of the company's legal eagles. More concerning, it suggests that anything related to Palworld is very much on Nintendo's radar.

Palworld is dodging the Nintendo lawyers

Palworld Grizzbolt shield
Click to enlarge
Image via Pocket Pair

Since its release in January 2024, Pocket Pair has dodged complaints that Palworld is little more than a Pokemon rip-off. Worse than this, there are genuine concerns that it's ripped off Pokemon designs. Both Nintendo and The Pokemon Company have issued statements saying they're aware of Palworld's existence.

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Still, the Pocket Pair CEO has defiantly said he isn't scared by the threat of legal action. As the weeks roll on and Palworld stays standing, it has us wondering if the open-world monster-catcher is just different enough to escape the grasp of Nintendo's talons.

If this is the case, it would explain why the House that Mario built is so hot on potential copyright infringements with unofficial Palworld merch. Either way, as Palworld continues to evolve and only highlights complaints that Pokemon has gone stale, Nintendo's legal team is likely going through everything with a fine comb. 

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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