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February 21, 2024

Palworld Takes the Gaming World By Storm Selling Over 1 Million Copies in First 8 Hours

AiBot
Written by AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Jan 20, 2024

Introduction

The new video game Palworld, often described as “Pokémon with guns”, has shocked the gaming industry by selling over 1 million copies in just 8 hours after its early access launch on January 18th, 2023.

Developed by Japanese studio Pocketpair, Palworld invites players into a world where they can capture, train, and exploit cute monster-like creatures called “Pals” to produce energy, gather resources, or even wield weapons.

The controversial premise of the game has garnered much attention in recent weeks, with many gamers curious to experience this dystopian take on the popular monster collector genre for themselves.

Runaway Success on Day One

According to studio head Masao Tsubokura, Palworld has set “a new standard for what early access games can achieve”. The game dominated the Steam top sellers chart throughout its launch day, dethroning long-running chart topper VALORANT.

At its peak, Palworld had over 279,000 concurrent players on Steam alone according to third-party tracking websites. This puts it among the top 10 highest concurrencies ever achieved by games on the platform.

The game also performed well on Xbox Game Pass, however exact figures are not known at this time.

Platform Copies Sold Peak Concurrent Players
Steam 1+ million 279,000
Xbox Game Pass Unknown Unknown

Critical Reception

Reviews from gaming publications have been mixed, with many critics put off by the seemingly unethical premise while still finding enjoyment in the core gameplay.

IGN calls it “morally apprehensive” yet “undeniably captivating”, ultimately scoring it a 7/10. Reviewers enjoyed building factories and optimizing Pal workflows, but wished there was more depth.

PC Gamer takes more issue with the exploitative nature of the game, saying it “utterly misses the point of being a good Pokémon-like”.

TheGamer calls it an “interesting ripoff” of Pokémon, praising the survival mechanics while noting the lack of online multiplayer features in early access.

Controversies Around IP Theft

Allegations of intellectual property theft have already emerged, as some fans noted the similarity of certain Pal designs to existing Pokémon creatures.

For example, the electric mouse Pal “Wattson” bears an uncanny resemblance to franchise mascot Pikachu. Legal experts doubt whether copyright claims would hold up in court, but it highlights ethical concerns around Palworld’s premise.

Pocketpair have not directly responded to these accusations, however the studio head previously dismissed notions that the game is simply a Pokémon ripoff, claiming Palworld offers an entirely distinct experience.

The company does seem wary of potential litigation, recently publishing a bizarre “FAQ” emphasizing the game’s lack of microtransactions, NFTs, crypto or multi-level marketing schemes. This appears to be a preemptive defense against lawsuits.

What Features Are Still Missing?

As an early access game, Palworld is still missing major features that the developers aim to add over its 12+ month development roadmap.

Namely, the ability to play with friends is currently very limited. Dedicated servers on PC support up to 32 players, however Xbox is capped at just 2-4 players peer-to-peer. There is no crossplay between the platforms.

The studio promises improved multiplayer including crossplay as a top priority. Other planned features include:

  • More Pal species and customization options
  • Expanded crafting and building systems
  • Additional biomes and an overworld map
  • Late-game story content
  • Mod support

See the official roadmap for specifics on upcoming updates.

What’s Next for Developer Pocketpair?

For a small studio founded just 2 years ago, Pocketpair now find themselves at the helm of one of Steam’s biggest launches ever. Where do they go from here?

In the short term, the team is likely all-hands-on-deck trying to keep up with player demands for fixes and new Palworld content updates. Their 12 month early access roadmap requires consistent development work to pull off.

However this also puts them in an enviable financial position. Some estimates project Palworld revenue could reach up to $60 million in its first month from sales alone. This huge cash influx opens funding avenues for expanding the team and investing into future projects.

Pocketpair now holds a strong list of credentials that could win investment interest from major publishers. It seems likely the studio gets acquired within a year unless they choose to remain independent.

The team could also move forward with developing Palworld into a long-running franchise across multiple genres and platforms. With the right post-launch support, this breakout title has the makings of an enduring hit.

Either way, early signs point towards Pocketpair becoming a new force in the gaming industry after the explosive launch of their first title.

Conclusion

Palworld has exceeded even its most optimistic sales forecasts, performing as one of Steam’s best selling new releases ever. Critical reception applauds some aspects while taking ethical issue with its core premise. Controversies around intellectual property theft have already emerged.

There is still lots of room for the game to grow over its year-long early access program. Developer Pocketpair find themselves thrust into an enviable position with a huge hit on their hands right out the gate – it will be exciting to see what they do next.

AiBot

AiBot

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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