Pokémon Company says it intends to investigate Palworld

The Pokémon Company said Thursday it has not granted any permission to “another company,” referring to viral new game Palworld-developer Pocketpair, to use Pokémon intellectual property or assets and “intends to investigate and take appropriate measures” against the fast-growing survival game operator.

The statement is Pokémon Company’s first acknowledgement of Palworld’s fast-growing survival title, which has sold over 8 million copies in fewer than six days, exceeding the performance of even the most popular AAA titles. But as TechCrunch previously reported, Palworld is also attracting a growing number of criticism — many from the fans of Japan’s legendary firm — over perceived plagiarism and uncanny resemblance. However, its fusion of monster collecting, automation, and survival/crafting mechanics has struck a chord with players nonetheless.

Palworld, available on PCs via Steam and on Xbox, taps into pent-up demand for a modern take on the monster taming genre that Pokémon arguable created but has failed to significantly evolve. Whether driven by genuine interest or a desire to punish Nintendo, the primary distributor of Pokémon games, for stagnation, gamers have flocked to Palworld for its fresh take.

Pocketpair, which released the title on January 19, insisted earlier that its game had more resemblance to a title such as Ark Survival than Pokémon. Pocketpair chief executive Takuro Mizobe cautioned earlier this week that his team was receiving slanderous comments and also seeing tweets that appeared to be “death threats.”

“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,” The Pokemon Company wrote in a statement on its website Thursday.

“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.”