Pokemon imitator and smash hit Palworld may have flown too close to the sun.
On Jan. 25, less than a week after Palworld released to immediate and overwhelming success, The Pokemon Company released a statement titled “Inquiries Regarding Other Companies’ Games.”
“We have received many inquiries regarding another company’s game released in January 2024,” the statement says. “We have not granted any permission for the use of Pokemon 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 Pokemon.”
Curiously, the statement does not reference Palworld or developer Pocketpair Inc. by name — not that it needs to. There is no bigger story in gaming right now than Palworld’s near-unprecedented surge in popularity.
Over the years, parent company Nintendo has been content to stay famously tight-lipped when it comes to off-the-cuff consumer-facing communications. With this statement, however, Nintendo and The Pokemon Company have indicated that neither they, nor their legal teams, are likely to sit idly by and watch Palworld take over the creature battler genre.
Released on Jan. 19, Palworld has sold more than 7 million copies. As of writing, it is the most-played game on video game digital distribution service Steam with over 1.85 million simultaneous players at its peak (good for second-highest of all time). For comparison, The Game Awards’ 2023 game of the year, Baldur’s Gate 3, peaked at 174,189 simultaneous players.