Palworld Boss Celebrates Other Companies Cloning His Game

Palworld Boss Celebrates Other Companies Cloning His Game

After selling over 15 million copies in its first month, the mania around Palworld has cooled a bit. But deep-pocketed competitors have taken notice of the “Pokémon With Guns” survival crafting sim’s overnight success and are trying to copy it, according to the head of the studio behind the game.

“Tencent is already making a Palworld clone game!” PocketPair CEO Takuro Mizobe recently tweeted,” according to a translation by Automaton. He seemed happy about it. “These are incredible times,” he wrote. Some initially interpreted Mizobe as being critical of these moves. An IGN story described him as accusing other companies of ripping off Palworld, a framing the CEO rejected.

“To ‘accuse’ someone of something, means to say they are doing something wrong,” Mizobe wrote in a follow-up tweet responding to the IGN story. “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.”

When Palworld first blew up it was accused of copying Game Freak’s Pokémon games, with some fans noting clear similarities between the creature designs in both games, and some internet sleuths even alleging that this overlap could be traced even more deeply into the game’s construction.

“We make our games very seriously,” Mizobe said at the time. “And we have absolutely no intention of infringing upon the intellectual property of other companies.”

Pokémon’s publisher, Nintendo, weighed in on the controversy but didn’t pursue any legal action. “We have not granted any permission for the use of Pokémon intellectual property or assets in that game,” the company wrote in January. “We intend to investigate and take appropriate measures to address any acts that infringe on intellectual property rights related to the Pokémon.”

The copying accusations spurred a larger conversation about how games borrow from one another and build on past ideas to potentially create something more original than the sum of its parts. Fortnite borrowed from PUBG to turn an unspectacular tower-defense shooter into a global sensation, while the rhythmic, dance-like combat in the Batman: Arkham series has been borrowed for many excellent action games since then, most recently Spider-Man 2.

Who knows if these new Palworld clones that Tencent and others are apparently developing will ever see the light of day. We won’t know if they’re actually rip-offs until they’re out, but Mizobe doesn’t seem to mind either way.

Tencent didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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