Palworld dev says their game isn’t like Pokémon at all, but rather like ARK 

PocketPair’s highly anticipated Palworld launches in Early Access on January 19. The game will be available for the PC (Steam), Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, with a Game Pass release planned.  In an interview with Automaton, PocketPair’s CEO Takuro Mizobe commented on Palworld’s much-discussed similarity to the Pokémon franchise. 

Palworld is an open-world survival craft game set on the island of Palpagos. The island is inhabited by creatures called Pals that come in a wide variety of species. Pals can be captured using Pal Spheres and then used how the player sees fit – for combat, field work or labor.  You can even sell the creatures or eat them as food.  The game’s premise of collecting and raising monsters has been heavily compared to the Pokémon series, even escalating into rumors and concerns about copyright issues, but what do Palworld’s creators have to say about this? 

Pals in Palworld

Speaking on the topic, Palworld’s representative Takuro Mizobe explains that he is a big fan and admirer of the Pokémon series, having known of it since his elementary school days. He mentions being greatly impressed by the quality of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, as well as the open-world title Pokémon Legends: Arceus. 

Mizobe refers to Pokémon as the “overwhelming leader of the monster collection/raising genre,” and admits to being “scared to compare it to Palword” because of how good it is. 

At the same time, he goes on to explain that Palworld was created from the premise of combining an open-world survival game with a monster collecting/raising game. And while the developers of Palworld  did reference Pokémon as a “great predecessor,” they created something that Mizobe describes as feeling completely different. He even mentions that, in regard to game mechanics, Palworld is a lot more similar to the action-adventure survival game Ark: Survival Evolved. 

Mizobe finishes by assuring that Palworld was developed with great care in terms of respecting other companies’ intellectual property, and that it has cleared legal reviews without issue. 

Palworld gameplay

With the Pokémon franchise being, as Mizobe described, an overwhelming leader in its genre, its successors are destined to be scrutinized and compared to it. However,  we’ve already noticed many unique aspects in Palworld, and we’re looking forward to digging deeper into its rich gameplay and worldbuilding. 

Stay tuned for the English version of Automaton’s interview with Takuro Mizobe.

Palworld releases in Early Access on January 19 for the PC (Steam), Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. The game will be available via Xbox/PC Game Pass.   

Amber V
Amber V

Novice Editor-in-Chief since October 2023.

She grew up playing Duke Nukem and Wolfenstein with her dad, and is now enamored with obscure Japanese video games and internet culture. Currently devoted to growing Automaton West to the size of its Japanese sister-site, while making sure to keep news concise and developer stories deep and stimulating.

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