After plenty of online speculation around whether it would actually happen, The Pokémon Company has released a statement about “another company’s game” released in January 2024. And we can say what we’re all thinking: Palworld.
Though the company doesn’t name Palworld or Pocketpair outright, the assumption is that’s what this statement is about, unless Prince of Persia has a super-secret stage I don’t know about. But the statement says The Pokémon Company has received “many inquiries” regarding another company’s game released in January 2024, and TPC says it intends to “investigate and take appropriate measures” to address any acts that infringe on intellectual property (IP) rights related to 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,” the company signs off.
I’m not your Pal, buddy
After what’s felt like ages, in Internet time, of speculation over whether The Pokémon Company would take notice and do anything about the similarities between the Pals of Palworld and its own pocket monsters, this is at least a firm declaration that the company is paying attention.
I can’t really speak to any legality for or against here, I just write the video game blogs. But I’d have to imagine that certain efforts like the Pokémon mod for Palworld didn’t do much to douse the fuse on this powder keg.
We’ll see now if Pocketpair makes any response, even though they weren’t explicitly named. In a recent interview with Automaton, Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizobe said: “We make our games very seriously, and we have absolutely no intention of infringing upon the intellectual property of other companies.”
Other than that, we’ll just have to wait and see whether TPC’s investigation results in them taking any action. I used to think I’d always look back on the Microsoft/Activision Blizzard announcement as the most stunning start-of-year declaration, but now the War of the Monsters might give it a run for its money.