Does Palworld Use Generative AI Art? Explaining the Controversy
Japanese game developer Pocket Pair released their exciting survival-crafting title Palworld on 19th January and took the gaming industry by storm, selling over 5 million copies since its early access launch. This title essentially combines multiple game genres and can be considered a derivative of the well-known Pokemon franchise.
However, this is not the only reason the developer is making headlines. The studio is accused of using generative AI in Palworld by artists, other game devs, and gamers alike. Let’s cut to the chase and take a look at all the buzz surrounding these allegations.
Controversy Arose From Pocket Pair CEO Takuro Mizobe’s Past Tweets
These severe allegations mainly pointed out Pocket Pair CEO Takuro Mizobe’s tweets over the years, where he expressed his fascination with generative AI art. He even tweeted about an experiment where Pokemon was created with early AI tools which was later showcased in a BuzzFeed quiz.
All of these posts led to numerous accusations stating that Palworld has also used GenAI to develop its in-game assets. While the game does contain creatures known as Pals that look strikingly similar to Pokemon, there seems to be no trace of AI in Palworld’s development, at least at the time of writing.
Furthermore, the Palworld community members of Reddit also pointed out that the trailer for the game was revealed long before generative AI had its big breakthrough, meaning that the game’s design and assets were developed before the AI went public.
However, this reasoning does not seem to reach many people as the slandering still continues forward with people pointing out Pocket Pair’s 2022 game AI: Art Imposter to back up their claims. This game was released for PC, Android, and iOS and actively uses an internal GenAI system where players need to guess where the images derive from. However, the title did not seem to gain much traction, receiving mixed reviews on Steam.
Before Palworld’s release, Automaton also reached out to the CEO for comments in which he had mentioned that the game had cleared legal reviews and that no action had been taken against it by other companies. Takuro Mizobe stated:
“We make our games very seriously, and we have absolutely no intention of infringing upon the intellectual property of other companies.”
Unfortunately, this did not stop furious Pokemon fans and gamers. The CEO even posted on X mentioning that they are currently receiving slanderous comments against Pocket Pair’s artists and are even facing numerous death threats. Mizobe added:
“I have received a variety of opinions regarding Palworld, but all productions related to Palworld are supervised by multiple people, including myself, and I am responsible for the production.
I would appreciate it if you would refrain from slandering the artists involved in Palworld.”