Palworld fans want Nintendo to ‘wake up’ with Pokemon for adults

Palworld fans want Nintendo to ‘wake up’ with Pokemon for adults
Images via Pocket Pair | The Pokemon Company

Written by 

Tom Chapman


22nd Jan 2024 14:18

While we won't get into the legalities and accusations that Pocket Pair's Palworld has been ripping off Pokemon designs, there's no denying this action-adventure survival game is scratching an itch that Pokemon just isn't scratching these days. Who'd have thought all we needed to do was give them guns?

28 years after Pokemon Red & Green launched in Japan, we've officially tipped over 1,000 'mon in the Pokedex and have just stepped out into Paldea for Gen IX with Pokemon Scarlet & Violet. The franchise has come a long way from its top-down roots, but with that, some feel it's lost its magic. 

Palworld is a chart-topping hit

Palworld slavery
Click to enlarge
Image via Pocket Pair

Palworld is taking the world by storm, being a major hit on Xbox Game Pass and soaring up the Steam charts. The adorable adventure has just hit 1.56 million concurrent players and took the spot as the third-most concurrent players in the service's history. It'S also sold five million copies in a matter of days. 

Scarlet & Violet had similar success in 2023 and sold over 10 million copies in just three days. Still, with that being a franchise that has many decades of loyal fandom, could Palworld really come snapping at Scarlet & Violet's lifetime sales of 23.23 million? It remains to be seen whether this is just a fad.

The Tokyo-based Pocket Pair also overtook Elden Ring as the most-played Japanese-developed game on Steam, and now, is heading toward Counter-Strike 2's 1.8 million concurrent player peak. As the title continues to dodge controversy, Pocket Pair reiterates it isn't a scam.

Palworld players want Nintendo to 'wake up' 

Over on Reddit, Palworld fans are imploring Nintendo to "wake up" and realise that a Pokemon game for adults is what we need right now. While morally questionable thanks to its slavery and meat farms - as well as the ability to harvest your Pals' organs - Palworld is hitting that sweet spot between adorable and macabre. 

Pokemon games have always been simplistic, but asking for a more mature series, one critic wrote, "That would be so fcking cool. I would play nothing else for months 🤤." Another added, "Then tell the fans to STOP BUYING the effortless games they keep throwing at them but they keep buying anyway." 

A third reminded us, "Nintendo wants kids to play pokemon. They don't want it to be something that ages with the audience. The fact that there are adults who play it is just a bonus to them." It seems like Palworld's unofficial tagline of "Pokemon with guns" will have to do for now.

Reminding Nintendo that those of us who played the OG titles are now much older, the idea of an adult-orientated Pokemon is an interesting one. The problem is, putting guns in Pikachu's hands goes against the company's family-friendly image and is never going to happen - like Mario shooting up the Fortnite battlefield. 

Others are less convinced and have pointed out the massive success modern Pokemon titles still have. It's largely become a franchise that has outgrown the games that made it, and for better or for worse, they largely come second. At least if you want to shoot up cute critters, you've got Palworld.

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.

We’re not ready for the Pokemon Center to return to the UK in 2024
Palworld fancy dress costumes are straight from our spandex nightmares
Palworld player slump has us begging for PvP
Next-gen Pokemon concept goes viral: 'We are never getting this'
Palworld dev Pocketpair frantically hiring after finding itself "overwhelmingly short of people”