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Pokémon fans are having a meltdown over Palworld’s likeness Dot Esports

In the short time since its release, Palworld has surprised the gaming world with an incredibly successful launch. Despite its great start, however, the new survival game has drawn criticism from one particular fanbase whose fans are calling the game a blatant copy.

Fans of the Pokémon franchise believe Palworld has ripped off several elements from their beloved franchise and are resoundingly expressing their opinions across social media this week, notably based on the striking resemblance of Palworld’s creatures when compared to the Pokémon we all know and love. The game’s trailer alone features monsters that bear an eerie similarity to the beloved Pokémon characters Wooloo and Eevee.

Several hardcore fans have gone to great lengths to point out these similarities, painstakingly studying and comparing the Pals to their ‘mon counterparts, from the shape of their tails to the size of their ears to the same number of feathers on their necks. On top of the numerous similarities, the overall aesthetic is undeniably resembling.

The more passionate Pokémon are even going as far as calling for Nintendo to sue the Palworld developers, Pocket Pair. This might be seen as a bit of a reach, but the multi-billion dollar gaming giant does have a history of issuing lawsuits to indie companies in the past for what Nintendo’s legal team considered a breach of copyright law. Most famously, Pokémon Uranium, a fan-made video game that was in development for nine long years, was abruptly halted when a cease-and-desist order was issued in 2016.

One community member on Reddit went as far as calling the game a scam. “It is a scam game that is built directly out of this studio’s previous unfinished scam game,” they claim, stating Palworld is nothing more than “random stolen mechanics glued together by mobile game XP grinding.” It sounds a little absurd, to be honest with you.

A screenshot from the opening cutscene of Palworld.
I think passion is getting the better of some people. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The frustration stems from a sense of deep attachment and loyalty to the Pokémon franchise, which has cultivated a unique and beloved universe over decades. The introduction of nearly identical creatures in Palworld feels like an infringement on a cherished game that has brought fans so much joy over the years.

As of the time of writing, Palworld is enjoying a fantastic launch, reaching one million players just eight hours after its release. Developer Pocket Pair has differentiated Palworld from Pokémon by emphasizing the survival elements of the game. Thus far, there are no real indications of Nintendo taking any legal action whatsoever, so for now, catch us building our bases and arming our Pals with machine guns as we take on the frontier.

Jose Pedro Eichenseer

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