The Pokémon Company has announced it will investigate Palworld, without naming the game, following reports another company had infringed on its intellectual property.
Gotta catch ’em all? That could soon include the survival adventure release from Tokyo-based developer PocketPair after its Palworld game sold 5 million copies since its release on 18 January, drawing comparisons to the classic franchise series.
A statement from The Pokémon Company outlined its intention to run the rule over the new arrival which has been coined as “Pokemon with guns”.
Here is the communication in full:
“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.”
Will the Pokemon Company take action against Palworld?
From the wording above, it isn’t clear if there are actual grounds for legal action but Pokémon appears to be uncomfortable at how Palworld has burst onto the scene with significant recognition.
The former can’t control how other games on the market perform but when there is more than a slight resemblance to its characters, that changes the situation.
Don McGowan, a former Chief Legal Officer with 12 years of service at the Pokémon Company gave his opinion on the Palworld question:
“This looks like the usual ripoff nonsense that I would see a thousand times a year when I was chief legal officer of Pokémon. I’m just surprised it got this far.”
Hunting monsters and other enemies, surveying the landscape for sustenance and survival, whilst gathering Pals, PocketPair’s fledgling release is competing in a genre that contains far more illustrious names such as Minecraft, and even Rust and Ark. Still, its hint of a resemblance to Pokémon could prove to be a particular problem and its greatest challenge yet.
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