Palworld, the survival game that recently launched into early access on a variety of platforms, features many creatures that range from cute to ferocious and many gamers and Pokémon fans have drawn similarities between the monsters and different species of Pokémon.
Although there are no Pokémon characters included in the game, some similarities have raised questions about whether or not there was any copyright infringement that occurred or if critics are judging the game’s designs too harshly.
Apparently The Pokémon Company has received enough inquiries about the new game to warrant a press release that it recently put out, which can be read below.
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. 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.The Pokémon Company
While not naming Palworld, the specificity of the release date make it clear what game is being referenced. It seems as though the company is taking things seriously and may take further action based on the results of its investigation.
Nintendo has already taken action against a mod that would include Pokémon characters in the game unofficially.
Inspiration, imitation or infringement?
Fans have pointed to several Palworld creature designs in particular that seem to draw a lot of inspiration from existing Pokémon.
Jetragon and Latios, Latias
Jetragon, left, seems to have a number of commonalities with the Eon Duo, Latios and Latias. It features an aerodynamic head with sleek ear-like fins and arms similar to the Pokémon duo.
Boltmane and Luxray
Palworld’s Boltmane has also seen frequent comparisons to a particular Pokémon, that being Luxray. Both sport tufts of hair that spike outward from their heads and feature similar fur coloration.
Fenglope and Cobalion
Another frequent comparison is Palworld’s Fenglope and the Pokémon Cobalion becaue of their similar color schemes, fur and horns. While different in design, it is hard not to see the similarities.
Palworld still seeing success
Despite the online controversy, Palworld has seen a staggering amount of interest and broke Steam records for the second-highest amount of concurrent players. Even without being launched officially, it has already sold more than six million copies.
We will share any updates from Pokémon if these release additional information.
Let us know what you think about the situation in the comments below! The game’s creators have also sparked controversy for their support of AI-generated artwork and its role in the game development industry.
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