Everyone’s talking about Palworld, developer Pocketpair’s open-world survival creature-collector that came out in early access on January 18. From the AI allegations to the Pokémon comparisons, this game has become 2024’s first gaming phenomenon. And now, we have some eye-popping data to back that up, as Palworld has reportedly sold over seven million copies on Steam in just five freakin’ days.
Colloquially referred to as “Pokémon with guns,” Palworld is about building structures and crafting medicines to survive in the beautiful and harsh islands of Palpagos. To do this, you’ll capture—and exploit the labor of—monsters known as Pals, who can do everything from fight to build. While the hook is the similarities to Nintendo’s iconic IP, the game is a bit closer to Ark: Survival Evolved than anything Pokémon-related. The game has attracted a lot of criticism for how closely its monsters resemble those of Nintendo’s, but it’s selling like hot cakes. It was so hot, in fact, that it was more popular than Fortnite for a brief moment. That’s saying something.
There’s some clarification here, however. According to The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley, Pocketpair confirmed that this sales figure is for Steam units only. As of right now, it doesn’t include sales on Xbox consoles or downloads through Microsoft’s subscription service, Xbox Game Pass. Either way, as Keighley noted, seven million copes sold on Steam amounts to approximately $US189 million in sales. That means Palworld is curently more popular than Counter-Strike 2, Dota 2, and PUBG: Battlegrounds.
While impressive, these sales figures pale in comparison to Nintendo’s monster collectors. The company revealed in September 2023 that the 2019 Pokémon games, Sword and Shield, sold 26.02 million copies, while 2022’s Scarlet and Violet sold 23.23 million units. This isn’t to say that Palworld can’t overtake either of these games, but the road ahead is long.
Speaking of roads, Pocketpair also outlined the planned roadmap for Palworld on January 24. The team is currently eyeing a bunch of updates for the game, which includes PvP and cross-platform play. It’s hard to compete with Pokémon’s longevity, but Palworld could have a longer shelf life than expected if these updates drop in a timely fashion.
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