The Pokemon Company releases damning Palworld statement

The Pokemon Company releases damning Palworld statement
Imagers via Pocket Pair | The Pokemon Company

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Published 

25th Jan 2024 12:08

Well, it was a good run while it lasted. Unless you've been hiding under a Geodude for the past week, you'll undoubtedly have heard of Palworld. The affectionately named "Pokemon with guns" can sometimes feel like a Ditto of The Pokemon Company's long-running franchise, and now, it seems the Mandibuzzes are circling.

It was only a matter of time until The Pokemon Company took note of this Pokelite title, and while Palworld's organ harvesting, slave rings, and bullet battles make it distinctly different to the world of those Pocket Monsters, the Pals themselves are a different story.

The Pokemon Company breaks its silence on Palworld

Even before Palworld entered early access on PC and Xbox, there were raised eyebrows that the survival adventure game was flying a little too close to the Solgaleo. It only got worse when it was released, and amidst allegations of directly copying some designs, Pocket Pair was also accused of using AI in-game

Unfortunately, Palworld could be a victim of its own success, and after surpassing the first-week sales of Pokemon Legends: Arceus, it's put itself firmly on Nintendo's radar. Now, The Pokemon Company has released a short but damning statement suggesting that it's going to come down hard on Palworld. 

The Pokemon Company says it has (unsurprisingly) "received many inquiries regarding another company’s game released in January 2024." Saying that it hasn't granted permission for the Pokemon IP or any assets to be used, it gaming giant says it will continue to "cherish and nurture each and every Pokemon and its world."

There's a crucial mention that The Pokemon Company intends to "investigate and take appropriate measures to address any acts that infringe on intellectual property rights related to the Pokemon," which puts Palworld and Pocket Pair right in its crosshairs. 

Palworld could be in a world of trouble

Palworld desert area
Click to enlarge
Image via Pocket Pair

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Nintendo is notoriously protective of its IPs and is even known for going as far as cancelling unofficial Smash Bros. tournaments. It's not a company you want to be messing with, and with that Mario money behind it, we wouldn't want to be going against Nintendo. 

Still, Pocket Pair is confident that Palworld is different enough from Pokemon to escape any legal ramifications. In terms of copyright, it depends on whether the courts deem that someone could legitimately confuse Palworld for an actual Pokemon title. It probably doesn't help that everyone is calling it Pokemon with guns. 

The writing was already on the world for Palworld, and after modder ToastedShoes confirmed a takedown of the Palworld x Pokemon mod, it was clear Nintendo's legal team was watching closely. The future of Palworld remains up in the air, but as the devs stand defiant, we wouldn't be so sure the game will be making it out of early access. 

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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