The Pokemon Company has warned that it plans to investigate reports that the new hit video game Palworld violates the intellectual copyright of its iconic franchise.
Widely described as “Pokemon with Guns” when it was released last week, the makers of Palworld said it sold more than 8mn copies in less than six days.
Released on the online Steam platform, Palworld blends weapon-wielding player avatars with monsters that look similar to those in the wildly popular Pokemon franchise, part-owned by Nintendo.
The title, which is also available on the Xbox, has received praise from reviewers for its gameplay while generating debate over perceived similarities with the family-friendly Pokemon series.
“We have received many inquiries regarding another company’s game released in January 2024,” the Pokemon Company said in a statement.
“We have not granted any permission for the use of Pokemon intellectual property or assets in that game,” it added, without referring to Palworld by name.
The company said it intends to “investigate and take appropriate measures to address any acts that infringe on intellectual property rights related to the Pokemon”.
As of now Palworld is in early-access mode and still being developed, with the help of feedback from players, its creators, Japan-based PocketPair, said in describing its new game.
The game is home to more than 100 different characters – called “Pals” – that players can capture and turn into allies for adventures in the game, according to its creators.
As the game went viral, some on social media accused PocketPair of copying from Pokemon, posting images of very similar-looking characters and features from the game and the franchise.
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