Wed. Feb 28th, 2024
Comparing Palworld and Pokemon, How Are They Similar?

Recently, Pokemon fans accused Palworld of copying their creatures or “pals.” Nintendo said it was investigating. But the owner of Palworld maker Pocketpair said the game passed legal checks before it was released.

So, are the two games similar?

The following article will give you the answer.

Palworld in a Nutshell

Palworld is a PC game that has received much attention and love. But it and Pokémon have had some copyright strife in recent days. Before knowing the ins and outs of the matter, let us know about this game first.

What is Palworld?

Palworld is a new open-world action-adventure survival video game that has soared in popularity recently. The game features over 100 creatures for players to take on their adventures, which are controversial for resembling characters from Pokémon.

You can capture cute animated monsters, turn them into blobs, train them, and then battle other captured monsters.

You can also use these “buddies” to work on factory assembly lines and farms to make your survival easier. You can go dungeon crawling with them, use them as mounts to explore the ground and breed them to create new variants.

Palworld is better suited for enjoying with friends; luckily, this is one of the features the developers were keen on. It makes it easier than ever for friends to play together. However, it’s important to note that the Steam version of the game and the Game Pass version can’t be played with each other, as they’re on different builds and use different server infrastructures.

Therefore, it is best that you ask your friends what version they are getting before purchasing to ensure that you can play together.

What is Palworld?

● Capture many different partners. Each partner has unique abilities to help your base.
● Build your base near different types of resources. Your friends will collect them for you.
● Upgrade your base by performing tasks in the Palbox.
● Craft a stone pickaxe to make partner spheres and capture partners.
● Eat often and keep your friends fed to recover.
● If any of your friends die, place them in the Palbox. Over time, they will regain their health.
● Build a campfire and make clothes to avoid getting cold and losing life points at night.

What Happened to Palworld and Pokemon?

Palworld launches on January 19, 2024, as a sneak preview on Xbox Series X/S and PC. The number of players on the game’s distribution service, Steam, quickly hit record-breaking numbers.

What Happened to Palworld and Pokemon?

Since then, many have mentioned the similarities between this game and the Pokémon franchise.

The Pokémon Company commented on January 25 that it seems to have something to do with Palworld, though it doesn’t name the game by name.

“We have received many inquiries about a game released in January 2024 by another company. We have not granted any license to use Pokémon intellectual property or assets in that game. We intend to investigate and take appropriate steps to address any infringement of Pokémon-related intellectual property. We will continue to cherish and nurture each Pokémon and its world and strive to unite the world through Pokémon in the future.”

The company added, “We intend to investigate and take appropriate measures to address any infringement of intellectual property rights.”

However, the company has not yet formally filed legal action against Pocketpair.

Previously, Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizobe confirmed (via Japanese media outlet Automaton) that the game had “passed legal review” and that no action had yet been taken against it: “We take the production of our game very seriously. We have no intention of infringing on the intellectual property of other companies.”

Palworld quickly earned the nickname “Pokémon with Guns” when the first trailer was released in 2021.

Like the popular Nintendo series, it centered on collecting dozens of strange creatures with different abilities. Some reviewers have even hinted that the new game is a direct copy of the bigger game, but neither company has responded directly to that claim.

How Similar Are Palworld and Pokemon?

The video above also shows how similar Palworld’s character designs are to Pokemon. While Pikachu doesn’t exactly appear in Palworld, there’s no denying that many of the designs are strikingly similar, whether it’s elements of different Pokémon combining to form a Pal that’s a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster or more comprehensive similarities. It’s enough to get the Pokémon Company’s attention, at least.

Shape and design similarities:

How Similar Are Palworld and Pokemon?


The Pal, named Sparkit, is meant to be reminiscent of the Pokémon mascot Pikachu. It’s a small, yellow, furry, motorized creature, but it’s still its design.

How Similar Are Palworld and Pokemon?


The same goes for the Blue Penguin Pal Pengulet, which reminds me of the Blue Penguin Pokémon Piplup. It has the same idea but a very different execution.

How Similar Are Palworld and Pokemon?


For example, Mozarina’s sleeping face is identical to that of the Snoring Beast, except that the direction of the teeth is reversed.

How Similar Are Palworld and Pokemon?


The crown on the forehead of the kimpaka looks a lot like the trident beak of the Empurion, and they also have a tall, egg-shaped body shape when viewed from the front.

How Similar Are Palworld and Pokemon?


It’s easy to see how Pokémon Zebstrika inspired the Pal called Univolt, but the differences are big enough that you’re unlikely to mistake one for the other.

How Similar Are Palworld and Pokemon?


The dog warrior known as Anubis, Pal, has a humanoid body and pointed ears that look almost identical to Pokémon Lucario even though it wears Egyptian armor.

The dog warrior known as Anubis, Pal, has a humanoid body and pointed ears that look almost identical to Pokémon Lucario even though it wears Egyptian armor.

There are many more similar images below:

Elemental Similarities:

Each of Palworld’s elemental affinities is similar to Pokemon in two ways: name and mechanics. While many of them are similar in both areas, some differ in their strengths and weaknesses in battle.

Eight of Palworld’s nine elements are identical in name to Pokemon’s eight types, and another is neutral. However, Palworld’s neutral element is probably closely related to Pokemon’s normal type. Additionally, except for a few outliers, many of Palworld’s elements follow rules similar to those of their Pokemon counterparts.

Since most of Palworld’s elements are similar in name to some of Pokemon’s types, many are also similar in effect.

ElementStrong Against (Palworld)Strong Against (Pokemon)Weak Against (Palworld)Weak Against (Pokemon)
DarkNeutralGhost, PsychicDragonBug, Fairy, Fighting
DragonDarkDragonIceIce, Dragon, Fairy
GroundElectricElectric, Fire, Poison, Rock, SteelGrassGrass, Ice, Water
ElectricWaterWater, FlyingGroundGround
FireGrass, IceGrass, Ice, Bug, SteelWaterWater, Rock, Ground
IceDragonDragon, Flying, Ground, GrassFireFire, Fighting, Rock, Steel
GrassGroundGround, Rock, WaterFireFire, Flying, Ice, Poison, Bug
Neutral (Normal)NoneNoneDarkFighting
WaterFireFire, Ground, RockElectricElectric, Grass

What Does This Mean for the Future of Palworld?

The Pokémon Company didn’t name the game directly but intended to investigate copyright claims in other games.

That said, it has not officially taken any legal action against Palworld developer Pocketpair or any other developer.

An excellent IGN article interviewed several video game lawyers, including Wiggin’s Peter Lewis, who said the lawsuit “will depend on the country in which Nintendo takes legal action because of differences in intellectual property laws around the world.” Read the article in full for a further breakdown.

It’s hard to say what the outcome of this will be. Many on the internet are convinced that a downgrade is inevitable. In contrast, others believe that the game doesn’t exactly copy any of the content but is merely a parody – which may not be grounds for a lawsuit.

What does this mean for the future of Palworld?

On social media, there was a heated argument about it. One side defended the term, while the other said plagiarism had happened. The dispute over Palworld was so bad that the word “plagiarism” was added to the Japanese version of X.

Palworld is now available for preview on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC.

Final Thoughts

For now, Palworld seems safe. It should be noted that I have no problem with the fact that Palworld has elements of Pokémon gameplay. Countless games do the same thing, and it’s clear to anyone who’s played the first 15 minutes of Palworld that while it does feature monster taming, its survival gameplay, crafting mechanics, and lack of obvious technical issues suggest it’s nothing like Pokémon.

However, the image design does bear a high degree of resemblance to Pokémon. That’s the one point that’s not in dispute.

We’ll see how exactly events will unfold in the following weeks.

By Tanya L Bressette

As a senior editor, I have extensive experience in comprehensive content creation. I am committed to digging into diverse topics, from in-depth analysis to light-hearted entertainment, and I always provide a high-quality reading experience. In this age of information explosion, I would like to be your reliable knowledge guide and partner in cultural exploration.

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