Palworld Suspected of Plagiarism

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By Cal Bieler

The video game “Palworld,” as described by many gamers and journalists is “’Pokémon,’ but with guns.” Released as a game preview on Jan. 19, 2024, “Palworld” is an action-adventure survival game where you can befriend creatures called Pals and have them fight other Pals or take a peaceful route and have them work on farms. The game was announced in 2021, and with a ‘befriend and fight’ mechanic with collectible creatures, people had already started drawing comparisons to the hit game franchise “Pokémon” created by Nintendo. Nintendo is known for taking legal action against copyright issues with their IPs, such as sending cease-and-desist to fan creations of “Pokémon,” and DMCA, or Digital Millenium Copyright Act, strikes against content creators for simply streaming their game’s modded content or their soundtracks, most notably with “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” While the ‘befriend and fight’ mechanic is nothing new to the gaming world, where most raise concern is how similar the two games creatures look. While Nintendo did base some “Pokémon” on real-life animals like Seel is from seals, some Pals look remarkably like “Pokémon.” The Pal Celaray, looks eerily similar to the “Pokémon” Mantine, who is based on stingrays. Or with the Pal Anubis, who has the same style as the “Pokémon” Lucario. Even with all these comparisons, some may say “Palworld” is simply parodying “Pokémon.” So, does Nintendo consider “Palworld” to be a parody or plagiarism? As of currently, there is no indication that Nintendo will be suing; however, they are taking legal action against the game “PokeZoo.” Despite this, many fans still believe that Nintendo is still investigating “Palworld.” Regardless of whether Nintendo decides to take legal action, “Palworld” is still receiving a large amount of traction. It currently has over 6.7 million players, with an average of 3 million players per day.