Palworld Amasses Controversy Regarding Pal Design Similarities

Palworld Controversy

Palworld has officially opened up with massive success for its Early Access on January 19th on Steam and Xbox Series X and S consoles, and it has already sparked debate among players and the gaming industry due to its Pal Design Similarities, the monsters of the game, with existing Pokemon designs from the Pokemon franchise.

Although the game comes as another standalone title in the creature-collecting genre, players have already noted some similar-looking traits of Pals with Pokemon, coming as either too similar or being based on already existing ones that are found in Pokemon games.

Few are even claiming that the Pals in Palworld are blatantly based on Pokemon designs, with only AI usage differentiating them enough to not be the same ones. Many are sharing on social media pictures that note similarities in body shapes, facial features, expressions and more of Pals to Pokemon, and people are saying that it could only be a matter of time before The Pokemon Company takes Palworld Developer Pocket Pair to court.

Some also claim that simple AI usage of changing already existing designs of Pokemon is the manner through which Pal designs were made, which is a hot topic among fans as one points out that a full AI generator is also part of the game:

There is still no solid news of what this will lead to as of now.

It is to be noted however that the similarity would not be an infringement as making the basic design of small monsters seem cute and attractive is itself a manner to make good design. It is the case for Pokemon and Palworld to work in the same way to market the various designs of Pals in Palworld. There is also no news of any code stolen or taken by Pocket Pair from any Pokemon titles, nor is there concrete evidence of stolen assets as of yet.

It is also a differentiating aspect that almost all Pals in Palworld come with many new aspects not seen in any Pokemon title, something that may have added to the game’s immense success since the release of Early Access. While Pokemon work mostly in battle against other Pokemon, they have fewer uses in the actual overworld of the newest Pokemon titles like Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. The few uses they do have in the overworld are not nearly as many as Pals have in Palworld, coming with uses such as many ways of partner Pal usage like turning into weaponry, usage as helpers, although the riding and flying aspect is a shared mechanic.

There is also the aspect of graphics, Palworld holds high graphics with detailed overworld and design which no Pokemon title has had till now, with this aspect being one of the most prominent critiques on Pokemon and Nintendo itself whose Nintendo Switch console doesn’t favour relative high graphics.


Many consider that the similarity of the game to Pokemon with the additional mechanics and gameplay aspects is the very reason behind the game’s success. The game is literally considered “Pokemon with Guns” by players and those who have been watching its trailers and gameplay, so even with the similarities considered, it is still uncertain if there is actual infringement involved.

The shared aspects of the game themselves could be generic enough to not land blame as a bold copying. Hence, for now, it is yet to be seen what becomes of this controversial topic.

Viewers can check out more by visiting the game’s official Twitter page, or the game’s official website by Developer Pocket Pair.


  • Mohsin Ali

    An individual whose gaming and social preferences are fueled by nostalgia. Giving most of his time to Game Boy Advance titles where it all started for him, his proficiency lies in anything coming from innovation and departure from the norms that directly surmount to just plain old fun. Anything related to Nintendo or Pokémon is enough motivation for him to put his English graduate skills to good use.

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