Pokemon Company issues statement after Palworld is accused of plagiarism

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Palworld, the viral hit action-adventure survival title that has come under intense scrutiny over the alleged similarity of its in-game creatures to the beloved monsters of Pokemon, may be in legal trouble. The Pokémon Company, which manages the iconic franchise, has finally released an official statement addressing the growing allegations of plagiarism against Palworld, though without directly naming the game. Palworld released Early Access on January 19 and quickly took the Steam charts by storm, with developers PocketPlayer confirming on Thursday that the game has sold more than eight million copies.

In its statement released on Thursday, The Pokemon Company said that it intends to investigate any alleged cases of copyright infringement of the newly released game. “We have received several inquiries regarding another company's game releasing in January 2024,” the statement said, pointing to Palworld in all but name. “We have not granted any permission for the use of Pokémon intellectual property or assets in that game. We intend to investigate any acts that infringe Pokémon-related intellectual property rights and take appropriate measures. We will continue to cherish and nurture each Pokémon and its world, and work to bring the world closer together through Pokémon in the future.”

The Pokémon Company manages the intellectual property rights of Pokémon, which has been called the world's most lucrative media franchise, with revenues estimated to reach $88 billion. The IP rights are collectively owned by Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures, with Nintendo being notorious for excessive litigation when it comes to protecting the rights to its franchises. In fact, the Pokémon publisher may have already taken action against the Palworld PC mod that turns the game's in-game creatures into actual Pokémon, with one modder saying after his mod gameplay video on ” taken down earlier this week.

Palworld has been surrounded by allegations of plagiarism since its release, with many gamers, game developers, and Internet commentators pointing out the uncanny similarities between the game's creature designs and those of Pokémon. One Discussions about the extent of inspiration and plagiarism in gaming have since intensified, involving many developers. Some have defended Palworld, noting the derivative nature of the medium and claiming that PocketPlayer's survival title contains enough original ideas. , in addition to effectively fusing together elements from popular games like Ark: Survival Evolved, Fortnite, Rust, and Pokemon.

Meanwhile, PocketPlayer confirmed Thursday morning that Palworld has sold more than eight million copies in less than six days. Despite the cloud of plagiarism allegations looming, the game remains a sensation. Palworld is currently the most played game on Steam with a 24-hour peak concurrent player count of 2,018,905. It is behind only PUBG: Battlegrounds in the list of most played games ever on Valve's platform.

Palworld features Pokémon-style animals, or Pals, that can be captured and tamed for combat, traversal, and base building in the game's open world, thus attracting the nickname “Pokémon with Guns”. . The game is available on PC (via Steam), Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X and is also included with Xbox Game Pass.


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