The Pokemon Company Issues Official Statement on Palworld: ‘We Intend To Investigate’
Japanese developer Pocket Pair released Palworld to gamers on 19th January and it exceeded all expectations, selling a colossal 8 million copies in just 6 days and it only seems to be increasing every day. Several players find the monster-catching game to be incredibly immersive and difficult to put down.
Apart from its massive success, the game also received harsh criticism and made several Nintendo fans furious due to its striking similarity to the Pokemon franchise. Considering the number of inquiries they received, The Pokemon Company finally issued a statement today, stating that they ‘intend to investigate’. Let’s delve into it.
The Pokemon Company Says ‘We Have Not Granted Any Permission’
The statement was released today, 25th January in both Japanese and English. Although they do not acknowledge Palworld directly by name, it is evident that they are referring to Pocketpair’s game. Here’s what it stated:
“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.”
Previously on 23rd January, Nintendo mentioned that they were aware of Palworld’s existence when Bloomberg’s Takashi Mochizuki reached out for comments, but the game was still not directly acknowledged in the aforementioned statement. Apart from this, Pocketpair was already dealing with accusations from numerous artists, game devs, and gamers, because of CEO Takuro Mizobe’s past tweets regarding generative AI use in gaming. The studio also faced death threats from angry Pokemon fans stating that they were plagiarising Nintendo’s work.
Pocketpair’s CEO had already mentioned to Automaton that the game had cleared all legal reviews and that no action had been taken against the company. However, the current statement issued by The Pokemon Company certainly changes this. Furthermore, the CEO also said, “We make our games very seriously, and we have absolutely no intention of infringing upon the intellectual property of other companies.”
Nintendo’s legal team is known to take serious actions if they find that their property has been infringed upon and they have already gone after creator ToastedShoes who overhauled Palworld with a Pokemon mod. The YouTuber also kept up his word of uploading a video of the mod but Nintendo was quick to claim copyright infringement and the video was taken down after it received over 83,000 views.
For those who are unaware, The Pokemon Company is owned by three different corporations; Nintendo, Gamefreak, and Creatures. Gamefreak develops the core games of the franchise and Nintendo publishes these titles exclusively on their consoles, while Creatures is responsible for handling occasional spin-off games, merchandise, and Pokemon trading cards.