Palworld Emerges as the Largest Third-Party Launch for Microsoft

Palworld Emerges as the Largest Third-Party Launch for Microsoft

Palworld, the viral “Pokémon with guns” game, has already sold an astonishing 19 million copies since its January 19th early access launch.

Developer Pocketpair says 12 million copies were sold on Steam, with another 7 million on Xbox. Microsoft calls it the biggest third-party launch ever on Game Pass.

“The fan response has been tremendous,” said Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizobe. “This is just the beginning for Palworld, and the feedback we’re gathering in early access will allow us to keep improving the experience across all platforms.”

In addition to the record Game Pass launch, Palworld had Xbox Cloud Gaming’s largest third-party day one release ever. It was the most played Xbox game during launch with nearly 3 million daily active users at its peak.




Palworld heavily borrows Pokémon themes and creatures, enough to catch Nintendo’s attention. You battle and capture monsters in balls like Pokémon.

But it also satirizes society with themes you’d never see in Pokémon, like exploiting the captured creatures for labor. “There are no labor laws for Pals,” says the game. Disturbing trailers showed players threatening hard-working Pals with guns.

Microsoft stresses the developers are refining the early access game based on feedback. Cross-play is one of the most requested features and is coming.

Even with hit-or-miss impressions so far, Microsoft’s support could significantly improve Palworld. They are providing dedicated servers, optimizing performance, and helping fix bugs.

With 19 million copies sold already, Palworld clearly resonated by putting a twisted spin on the familiar Pokémon formula. While the early access launch has been rocky, Microsoft’s backing gives Pocketpair resources to polish the provocative creature collector into a hit. Listening to player feedback will be key.