At face value, Palworld looks like a Pokemon game with guns because of how similar the monsters look to the Nintendo property. Thanks to VGC, we know that some people have begun to accuse the studio of plagiarism.
A significant reason why these accusations became popular was because of X/Twitter user @ byofrog. On January 20, the user began to upload a series of photos/videos and claimed that the models used in Palworld are copied from Pokemon.
Since then, people have begun to harass some of the dev team and, in some cases, send death threats to them. In light of the accusations and threats, Takuro Mizobe, the CEO of Pocketpair, released a statement on X/Twitter that reads (translated by Google):
“Currently, we are receiving slanderous comments against our artists, and we are seeing tweets that appear to be death threats.
I have received a variety of opinions regarding Palworld, but all productions related to Palworld are supervised by multiple people, including myself, and I am responsible for the production.
I would appreciate it if you would refrain from slandering the artists involved in Palworld.”
The VGC report explains that some unnamed AAA game devs believe that the models used in Palword are based on Pokemon characters.
“You cannot, in any way, accidentally get the same proportions on multiple models from another game without ripping the models. Or at the very least, tracing them meticulously first,” one senior character artist told VGC anonymously, adding: “I would stand in court to testify as an expert on this.”
The unnamed devs explain that “the silhouettes and proportions here are near-perfect matches” when comparing some character models. Another dev said that the Palworld team “may have built over the top of the Pokémon models and made a few changes so they weren’t exactly the same.”
Currently, there’s no irrefutable evidence to suggest Pocketpair plagiarized Nintendo, despite the accusations being made. For more Palworld content, check out our Palworld guides hub, which breaks down everything you need to know.