The Pokémon Company is investigating ‘Pokémon with guns’ satire Palworld​

The Pokémon Company is investigating ‘Pokémon with guns’ satire Palworld

The Pokémon Company knows about Palworld and is very much aware that the game is drawing a lot of comparisons with its intellectual property, based on a statement it has published. While the company didn’t explicitly name Palworld, it said it’s going to investigate a game “released in January 2024” and will “take appropriate measures to address any acts that infringe on intellectual property rights related to Pokémon.” It also clearly stated that it has “not granted any permission for the use of Pokémon intellectual property or assets in that game.”
 
Palworld, released on January 18, is an open-world game featuring monsters that look like Pokémon, except they can use guns. It also has a darker theme, allowing players to sell their “pals” to slavery, kill them and eat them aside from being able to battle them to the death. It has gotten a lot of attention since it was released, and according to its developer Pocket Pair, it sold 7 million copies on Steam alone in just five days.
 
As IGN notes, Pocket Pair previously said that its game is more like Ark Survival Evolved and Vanaheim than Pokémon. In an interview with Automaton, the company’s CEO Takuro Mizobe said Palworld “cleared legal reviews” and that there had been “no action taken against it by other companies.” The Pokémon Company’s statement insinuates that that could change if it determines that the developer has infringed on its copyright, though we’ll have to wait for the results of its investigation to know for sure.
 
The full statement reads:
 
“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.”