The Pokémon Company has released a statement about Palworld, the survival game colloquially called “Pokémon With Guns” whose familiar creature designs have courted controversy since well before its January 19 launch. Well, we can assume the statement is about Palworld and the allegations of plagiarism and IP theft surrounding it, as it references “another company’s game released in January 2024.”
On January 24, the Pokémon Company posted a statement on its Japanese website written in both Japanese and English. In it, the company says that it will “take appropriate measures to address any acts that infringe on intellectual property rights.” While this isn’t a promise to pursue legal action against Pockepair, it’s clear that The Pokémon Company can’t ignore the rampant comparisons that have popped up in the wake of Palworld’s success—it sold over seven million copies in under a week.
The full statement reads as follows:
“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.”
Pocketpair has stated that it jumped through all the appropriate hoops to ensure Palworld wouldn’t be subject to a copyright lawsuit, though the game’s monsters have been derided for their similarities to specific Pokémon. Some have suggested that, despite the similarities, Palworld would falls under Parody Law, which protects media that imitates other projects in an “exaggerated, comedic fashion.”
While The Pokémon Company has finally publicly acknowledged Palworld, the war between both games’ online communities has been in a frenzy since the survival game GAME launched on January 19. Nintendo has already issued a DMCA against a mod that put Pokémon in the game, and fans have compared each games’ character models, sparking accusations of plagiarism.