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Palworld continues to soar and shatter records. Since its Early Access release on January 19, 2024, the game has risen to become the second most-played game on Steam with 1.86 million concurrent players. In the latest announcement on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, Pocketpair revealed that the game has sold 7 million copies in 5 days.

“Pokémon Is So Good To Compare It To Palworld” Said Pocketpair CEO, Plans For PvP Mode

“#Palworld has sold over 7 million copies in only 5 days!” the developer announced on X. “Thank you very much!! We continue to be hard at work addressing the issues and bugs some users are experiencing. Thanks for your support!”

Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizobe recently sat with Automaton to discuss the company and its newest game, Palworld. Prior to the release of Palworld, Pocketpair had released three other games including Overdungeon and Craftopia, but none has been a massive success like the open-world survival craft game, Palworld.

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Mizobe revealed that he originally worked as an engineer in the web industry where he led all kinds of roles. However, his love for video games brought him back to the game industry. He considers the other games he worked on as the learning curve he needed to prepare for a “large-scale game such as Palworld”.

Mizobe also revealed that the team is working on the game’s credit. Nevertheless, the CEO disclosed how involved he was in the making of the game. Although he had previously tweeted that he was the game’s producer, now GameBaba Universe has learned that the CEO played other roles in the making of Palworld including director and optimization engineer.

The development team working on Palworld currently stands at around 50 persons. But when the game development started, it had just 3 to 4 members in the team. All the members were newly hired and one of them was just 20 years old with 0 industry experience.

The Pokémon vs Palworld controversy came up during the interview

“Pokémon Is So Good To Compare It To Palworld” Said Pocketpair CEO, Plans For PvP Mode

Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizobe (Photo credit: Automaton)

It is hard to sit with Pocketpair’s boss without talking about the controversy surrounding Palworld’s monster art designs which many claim were taken from Pokémon. While Mizobe acknowledged that Palworld took inspiration from several other games including Sons of the Forest, he believes the comparison between the two games shouldn’t be.

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“I’m aware that the Pokemon series is the overwhelming leader in the monster-taming/collection genre,” Mizobe said when asked about the controversy. “In fact, Pokemon is so good that I’m afraid to even try to compare it to Palworld.”

“The concept for our Palworld originated from the thought, “Would it be possible to add monster collecting elements to the open-world survival craft genre?” And, although we did reference the Pokémon series as a great predecessor of its genre, Palworld feels completely different as a game, which I think people will realize as soon as they play it. I would even say that Palworld is a lot more similar to “ARK: Survival Evolved” in terms of game mechanics.”

 

“We make our games very seriously, and we have absolutely no intention of infringing upon the intellectual property of other companies. We have undergone legal reviews, and at this moment, there have been no specific actions taken by other companies. I know there have been all kinds of rumors floating about on the internet, but please rest assured and give our game a chance.”

Mizobe thinks the open-world survival craft genre was derived from Minecraft

“Pokémon Is So Good To Compare It To Palworld” Said Pocketpair CEO, Plans For PvP Mode

Automaton probed further to understand the inspiration behind the creation of Palworld, which will probably help to put an end to the controversy. Mizobe was asked what he understood as an open-world Survival craft genre and the amount of research that went into the creation of Palworld.

“I see the open-world survival craft genre as something that was derived from Minecraft,” Mizobe said.

“You used the word “research,” but this is a genre I’ve always adored, so I’ve played numerous titles up until now – such as Terraria, The Forest, Sons of the Forest, Conan Exiles, ARK: Survival Evolved, and of course, Minecraft. In terms of recent hit games, I’ve played Valheim, the indie title Raft, and Rust (although it is a PvP game). I’ve also played sandbox titles such as Astroneer and Scrap Mechanic, as well as games with novel mechanics such as Sunkenland.”

Mizobe also highlighted that their previous game Craftopia was also an open-world survival craft game. He further hinted that some of the members of Palworld’s development team are Steam users who understand the open-world survival craft genre. When asked what differentiated Palworld from other games, Mizobe said it was the fact that pals can act “autonomously and emotionally”.

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“Palworld was built on the hypothesis that having the monsters, Pals, act both autonomously and emotionally will result in a completely different playing experience than that of Craftopia. One of the main themes of Craftopia was “automation,” and I think that it received recognition for the outrageous things users were able to do with it, many of which we, the developers, had not even anticipated. With Palworld, our idea was to take this a step further, by aiming for “automation with emotion.”

 

“Pals will rejoice from the bottom of their hearts if you give them food and pet them. On the other hand, they will cry and refuse to work if you’re rough with them. We are a small-scale indie studio, but we really wanted to go far and beyond in terms of expressions of emotion, and this was actually a big percentage of our costs. I mean, try to imagine making different petting interactions for over 100 Pals (laughs).”

Pocketpair is considering PvP for Palworld

“Pokémon Is So Good To Compare It To Palworld” Said Pocketpair CEO, Plans For PvP Mode

The Q&A section of the Early Access launch on Steam mentioned that Pocketpair was considering a PvP element for Palworld. Automaton was curious to know the kind of content that the studio was planning for the game in that regard.

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“PvP is really difficult,” Mizobe said. “First of all, we need to think about why we are introducing PvP to Palworld. To begin with, there are many other games that offer a fun PvP experience, so we need to make sure that there is a reason for Palworld players to play PvP. Of course, using Pals you caught in battle is one unique point, but only games that give players a good reason to play can survive in the long term.”

“In this sense, I think it’s a very harsh territory. This is why PocketPair is not very optimistic about PvP. I said earlier that we have created a great game, but with PvP games, you can’t know if you’ve failed or succeeded until the very end. I think that our chances of success are below 10%. That’s how high the hurdle is to succeed in PvP.”

Pocketpair doesn’t seem to have the PvP fully figured out. However, they have a couple of ideas in their heads including “pitting Pals against each other” or allowing “Pals fight alone or alongside humans” or creating an “arena-like setting or a format in which players can freely compete anywhere in the entire map in real time”.

Whatever the team eventually settles for, Mizobe wants it to be “unique to Palworld”. He also hinted that his goal for a PvP mode is for it “not [to] be short-lived”. Palworld has been a huge success, coming from an indie developer.

At 7 million copies sold, Pocketpair has earned around $200 million from the game. In contrast, their previous game Craftopia which was released on September 4, 2020, only sold 583,000 units, earning the studio around $10.3 million according to VGInsights.


Anthony Emecheta

Anthony Emecheta has over a decade experience as a freelance writer. Gaming has always been a childhood hobby and he is excited to be collaborating with a gaming company as a content creator. It is like having all the things he loves in one place.

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