PC and Xbox players go wild over new viral game Palworld – but it’s not without controversy


PC and Xbox gamers have been sinking dozens of hours in Palworld, a new video game that launched into early access on Friday.

The game quickly skyrocketed to the top spot in best-seller charts and, in a matter of hours, became the most-played title on popular PC gaming platform Steam.


Palworld is a new survival crafting hit game that quickly amassed millions of players even before its full release.Credit: Pocket Pair
The game features catchable Pals, creatures who help players build their base, and battle other Pals and bosses.


The game features catchable Pals, creatures who help players build their base, and battle other Pals and bosses.Credit: Pocketpair

Palworld combines survival crafting gameplay in the vein of Minecraft, Valheim, or Lego Fortnite, with monster-catching and battling elements similar to the Pokémon series.

Initially dubbed ‘Pokémon with guns’, the early access version of Palworld proved this to be a misnomer, as it plays more like a survival game rather than a Pokémon clone.

At the time of writing, more than 1.5million people are playing the game on Steam, making Palworld the third most-played title in Steam’s history.

On top of this number, there are many players jumping into the game for free via Xbox Game Pass or purchasing it for Xbox Series X|S consoles. 

The game’s developer, Pocket Pair, announced Monday that Palworld had sold more than 5million copies in just 3 days.

In the game, players can team up with friends or explore the world solo, gather materials, build their bases, craft equipment, fight bosses, and capture mystical creatures called Pals.

Different Pal species have unique abilities, strengths, and weaknesses, and they help players both in combat and with daily tasks at their base.

Palworld’s success didn’t come from nowhere, as it was already among the top five most wishlisted games on Steam before launch.

Nevertheless, the massive influx of players was a surprise even for Palworld’s developers, as servers struggled to catch up with demand for the game.

Despite the game’s popularity, some players are not impressed, pointing out perceived similarities between Pals and Pokémon.

Some Pokémon fans took to Twitter to accuse developers Pocket Pair of copying Pal designs and gameplay concepts from the Pokémon series.

While the monster-taming genre exists outside of the Pokémon games, some fans felt that Palworld borrows too much from the popular series.

Users posted side-by-side pictures of Pals and the Pokémon they are allegedly based on.

Others even suggested that the game has potentially used generative AI for some of its designs.

No actual evidence of AI use in Palworld has been presented in these comments.

The use of artificial intelligence is a controversial topic in the creative industries.

Many artists see AI as a threat to their livelihoods, and an infringement on their rights as authors.

Palworld’s game director and CEO of developer Pocket Pair, Takuro Mizobe responded, calling “slanderous” the comments accusing the game of wrongdoing.

Taking responsibility for the published game, he explained that Palworld’s production has been supervised by multiple people, including himself.

In his post on Twitter (in Japanese), he also asked people to refrain from such comments against the artists who worked on the game, and mentioned that some tweets included death threats.

If you’re looking to learn more about the game, check out our Palworld review.

Written by Stoyan Ovcharov on behalf of GLHF.

All the latest Gaming tips and tricks

Looking for tips and tricks across your favourite consoles and games? We have you covered…