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Palworld Devs Aren’t Worried About A Nintendo Lawsuit

We’re about done with the first month of the year, and 2024’s biggest game is already here in the form of Palworld. The colloquially named “Pokémon with guns” open-world survival crafting title is dominating both Steam and Twitch in spite of the controversy it’s courted, particularly around similarities in monster design to Nintendo’s popular creature collector. But developer Pocketpair recently said the game passed legal reviews and isn’t infringing upon the Pokémon copyright.

HD-2D, The Unique Retro-Inspired Art Style, Took Off In 2022

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Read More: Pokémon With Guns Game So Popular The Servers Can’t Handle It

Released in early access on January 19 for PC (via Steam) and Xbox consoles (as well as Game Pass), Palworld is about collecting monsters, giving them guns, and shooting shit up. You’ll also need to build structures and craft medicines in order to survive its beautiful and harsh environments, but the hook has always been “Pokémon with guns,” since it was announced in June 2021. While novel in its approach, the creatures seemed quite close to Nintendo’s decades-spanning creature collector, and as Palworld made its worldwide debut, gamers took notice of just how closely it looked like Pokémon. I mean, the monster design is uncanny, with one that’s eerily close to Lucario from Gen 4 and another that looks like an amalgam of Garchomp from Gen 4 and Toxtricity from Gen 8.

Pocketpair isn’t concerned with the similarities, though. Speaking to Japanese gaming news outlet Automation, company CEO and lead developer Takuro Mizobe said that Palworld has passed all the necessary legal hurdles to clear it of copyright infringement. He also noted that there haven’t been any legal actions taken against Pocketpair for its overt comparisons to Pokémon—at least not yet, anyway.

“We make our games very seriously,” Mizobe said. “And we have absolutely no intention of infringing upon the intellectual property of other companies.”

In a separate Automation interview, Mizobe said that Palworld takes a lot of inspiration from Pokémon, as it was a “great predecessor” to both Pocketpair’s latest game and the creature-collecting genre as a whole. However, he explained that Palworld is less like Nintendo’s iconic IP and more like Studio Wildcard’s action-adventure survival crafting game Ark: Survival Evolved.

Kotaku has reached out to Pocketpair for comment.

Read More: Here’s Why Palworld Limits Multiplayer Numbers On Xbox

Whether you like it or not, Palworld is everywhere now. The game sold five million copies in just three days, making Pocketpair’s monster collector a force to be reckoned with—even with the clear similarities to Pokémon. I guess people just really like collecting and shooting creatures.

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