Turns out people are really receptive to an open-world Pokémon crafting/survival game! Who would’ve thunk? (Also, guns.)
Pocketpair’s Palworld has achieved significant success on Steam, reaching the fifth-highest peak concurrent number of players in the service's history behind F2P games like DOTA 2 and PUBG...a game Palworld got familiar with when Twitter corrected them for saying they had the highest audience ever for a paid game as there was a time when PUBG was a paid game. (UPDATE: Palworld has hit 3rd all time since our initial publication.) With over 1.26 million concurrent players, the game surpassed titles like Cyberpunk 2077. That number keeps rising, too.
With those numbers, it isn't hard to see why Palworld experienced major server outages, preventing players from accessing multiplayer modes. The connectivity issues are attributed to the massive influx of players though. The developer even had to have an emergency meeting with Epic Games a day after the release, resulting in a hotfix. Pocketpair said the team is actively working to resolve the ongoing problems caused by the implementation of Epic Online Services.
This is in light of Palworld also facing controversy due to perceived similarities between its creature designs (Pals) and Pokémon — leading to accusations of plagiarism. The developer has historical ties to generative AI tools, raising questions about the game's character design origins...and yet the game’s early access sales exceeded four million units within three days.
The accusations kept piling up and eventually it forced Pocketpair's CEO and Palworld's Game Director Takuro Mizobe to respond. Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Mizobe called out the threats he says their artists are receiving and wants them to stop. He puts himself in the crosshairs by saying he is responsible for materials created for Palworld. He do not talk about Palworld being inspired by Pokémon, nor does he address a new X account reported on by VGC that is now breaking down assets from Pokémon Scarlet and Violet and showing proportions to be identical in Palworld, something artists told VGC is almost impossible to be an accident.
Next up in Palworld news, perhaps we will see a Palworld release on PlayStation after all! Maybe even the Nintendo Switch someday? That would be interesting. Pocketpair has already mentioned in a Steam FAQ that a PS5 version is under consideration, though no concrete plans have been made.
About the Author
Matthew “dinofries” D'Onofrio is a writer, content creator, podcaster and — most importantly — a gamer. With such a strong passion for video games and a severe case of FOMO, it's no surprise he always has his finger on the pulse of the gaming world. On the rare occasion Matt's away from a screen, you'll find him strumming away on his acoustic guitar or taking care of his cat Totoro.More Stories by Matthew D'Onofrio