Nintendo is suing a Pokemon clone…but not the one you think

Nintendo is suing a Pokemon clone…but not the one you think
Images via The Pokémon Company

Written by 

Joseph Kime

Published 

30th Jan 2024 17:10

We don't know for sure what's happening behind the scenes at The Pokemon Company, but we imagine it's… tense. Pokemon has appeared in conversation after Scarlet & Violet's DLC, not because of Pokemon itself, but because of a bold game accused of plagiarism.

Palworld is taking off thanks to its aggressive bleakness infused with the monster-catching fun that made Pokemon exciting in the first place. Pocket Pair has done its due diligence as Palworld has avoided a legal slapping around by Nintendo so far, and the atmosphere around the game seems filled with rage.

Still, we know better than to mess with The Pokemon Company and Nintendo, as the gaming giants are making their legal presence very known.

The Pokemon Company is coming for clones

The packaging for PokeZoo as revealed by its 2021 trademark filing.
Click to enlarge
Image via PokeZoo

While The Pokemon Company is still looking for its legally-sound approach to taking down Palworld, some other clones are in its sights and are ready to be smacked with the ban hammer. First up, a trading card game is being blitzed in this new wave.

PokeZoo is a very clear take on Pokemon, and now (as reported by Game File) has received a filing from The Pokemon Company on January 11. The November 2021 trademark makes it look like a pretty cut and dry case, especially as it could be confused as an official Pokemon title. 

The card game, which wears Gengar and a Fast Ball clear as day on its packaging, has been mentioning Pokemon by name on its website. There's little surprise that The Pokemon Company is cracking down - even if it feels as though it's not the white whale it should be aiming for.

How has Palworld evaded a lawsuit?

An open desert area in Palworld.
Click to enlarge
Image via Pocket Pair

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Palworld is the most questionable homage to the Pokemon formula that has been able to duck a lawsuit so far. Opinions are split, but critics aren't sure how Palworld has gotten away with it. There have been allegations of stolen designs, while a recent datamine only made things worse

Either The Pokemon Company can't find any grounds on which a court will rule Palworld as plagiarism, or it's still building a case that will amount to a full lawsuit. Either way, it's calm for now. Good luck to the Palworld team, because if The Pokemon Company gets its way, you're going to need it.

Joseph Kime is the Senior Trending News Journalist for GGRecon from Devon, UK. Before graduating from MarJon University with a degree in Journalism, he started writing music reviews for his own website before writing for the likes of FANDOM, Zavvi and The Digital Fix. He is host of the Big Screen Book Club podcast, and author of Building A Universe, a book that chronicles the history of superhero movies. His favourite games include DOOM (2016), Celeste and Pokemon Emerald.

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