Pokémon Company Launches Investigation into ‘Pokémon with Guns’ Satire Game, Palworld

The Pokémon Company has issued a statement acknowledging the buzz surrounding the January 2024 release of Palworld, an open-world game drawing copious comparisons to Pokémon. While avoiding directly naming Palworld, the company said it plans to investigate this unnamed January game and “take appropriate measures” against any infringement of Pokémon intellectual property rights. Crucially, it clearly asserted that “We have not granted any permission for the use of Pokémon intellectual property or assets in that game.”

Released on January 18th, Palworld features Pokémon-esque monsters that can wield guns and partake in darker activities like slavery, murder, and cannibalism alongside traditional battling. According to developer Pocket Pair, Palworld sold 7 million copies on Steam alone within five days amidst massive attention.

Previously, Pocket Pair claimed Palworld was more inspired by games like Ark and Vanaheim than Pokémon. In an interview, CEO Takuro Mizobe said Palworld “cleared legal reviews” and faced no actions from other companies. But The Pokémon Company’s new statement implies it will reevaluate potential copyright infringement issues depending on its investigation’s findings.