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Pocketpair CEO Claims Several Studios Are Making Palworld Clone

Pocketpair CEO Claims Several Studios Are Making Palworld Clone

When Palworld entered Early Access on January 19, 2024, it was accused of copying Nintendo’s Pokémon game. For the next two weeks, Pocketpair CEO spent time explaining how the company’s game was different from Pokémon. Now, Pocketpair CEO has claimed several developers, including Tencent, are making Palworld clones. What goes around, right?

Pocketpair CEO Claims Several Studios Are Making Palworld Clone
Palworld and Pokemon comparison (Photo credit: IGN Africa)

Palworld looked so close to Pokemon that it was even nicknamed Pokémon with guns. The Pokemon Company later issued a statement saying it would investigate to see if Pocketpair and Palworld infringed on their intellectual property rights. The game had a large open world with a high level of freedom and intricate base-building mechanics where players capture and train, kill, or enslave a growing roster of monsters called Pals.

“Tencent is already making a Palworld clone game!” Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizobe wrote on X on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. “In China, various companies are simultaneously developing mobile clones of Palworld, and the budget scale is about 10 billion yen, 10 times that of Palworld”.

“It looks like there will be a ton of Genshin-quality monster (or girl) breeding games released next year… Amazing times.”

Palworld reportedly cost Pocketpair around 1 billion yen (approx. $6.7 million) to make. However, the game has returned tens of billions of yen in profits. As of the last update, the company revealed that the game has attracted 25 million players.

Pocketpair CEO Claims Several Studios Are Making Palworld Clone

At the peak of Palworld’s euphoria, the game recorded over 2.1 million concurrent players on Steam, becoming the second most concurrently played game on the platform. However, the game’s concurrent player count has plunged by over 95%.

Last month, Bloomberg reported one of Tencent’s studios was making a Palworld-style game for mobile. The game in question here is Auroria which is being developed and published by Tianjin Wumai Technology Co., Ltd. Tianjin Wumai is famous for developing games for mobile and PC.

The game which is expected to be released in Q2 2024 is described as “an open-world, multiplayer, and cooperative sandbox game. Design the Base, survive with your pals, and start your own interstellar travel in a relaxed and fun way”.  Auroria will be available on PC and mobile.

Pocketpair CEO said he is not angry that others are making Palworld clone

While Pocketpair CEO sounded bothered in the first half of his tweet, he ended it with the word “Amazing times”. However, after IGN published a post titled “After Palworld was accused of ripping off Pokemon, its CEO has accused other companies of making Palworld clones”, Mizobe was forced to clarify his earlier statement.

Pocketpair CEO Claims Several Studios Are Making Palworld Clone

“To ‘accuse’ someone or something, means to say they are doing something wrong,” the Pocketpair CEO clarified in response to IGN’s tweet. “I don’t think what Tencent is doing is wrong.”

“I’m proud that other companies want to make games like Palworld. The industry historically innovates when we borrow ideas from games we love. I’m surprised that many high-quality mobile games are already in development.”

In support of his boss, Pocketpair’s Global Community Manager simply known as Bucky also commented under the IGN tweet saying “Can’t we all just make games and be friends? No time for drama. Too busy gaming.”

The tweet by IGN has now been flagged by the X community. The following message now appears under the tweet, “Readers added context. Context needed: while having had referred to other games like Palworld as “clones”, neither the CEO nor the Community manager of Pocketpair have made substantively inflammatory comments as this article’s headline tries to frame”.

But let’s face it, can Pocketpair even get angry that another company is making a clone of its game when they were accused of doing the same? The danger in the new trend is that it might inspire a new generation of games that are clones of established, successful titles.