Palworld is a new game that combines monster taming, survival, and crafting elements. It has attracted a lot of attention for its controversial features, such as using cute creatures called Pals as weapons, shields, and slaves. But another aspect of the game that has raised some eyebrows is the similarity of some of its Pals to the iconic Pokémon from the popular franchise.
In this article, we will compare some of the Pals from Palworld to their Pokémon counterparts and see how much they resemble each other. We will also discuss the implications of such similarities for the game’s originality, legality, and appeal.
The Inspiration Factor
It is not uncommon for games to be inspired by other games, especially in the monster tamer genre. Many games have borrowed elements from Pokémon, such as Temtem, Ni no Kuni, and Monster Hunter Stories. However, there is a difference between being inspired and being copied. Inspiration means taking an idea and adding your own twist, style, or innovation to it. Copying means replicating an idea without any significant changes or improvements.
Some of the Pals from Palworld seem to fall into the latter category, as they share more than a few features with certain Pokémon. These features include the shape, size, color, pattern, and even name of the creatures. For example, Boltmane is a blue and black lion-like Pal that looks almost identical to a shiny Luxray, a blue and black lion-like Pokémon. Verdash is a green rabbit-like Pal that resembles a green Cinderace, a rabbit-like Pokémon. And Fluffpup is a white and pink dog-like Pal that has a striking similarity to Swirlix, a white and pink dog-like Pokémon.
These are not the only examples of Pals that look like Pokémon. There are many more, as you can see in this video or this slideshow. Some of the similarities are more subtle, such as the combination of different Pokémon elements into one Pal, or the resemblance of certain body parts or accessories. Others are more blatant, such as the exact replication of the Pokémon’s design, name, or pose.
The Legal Factor
The similarity of some of the Pals to Pokémon raises the question of whether Palworld is infringing on the intellectual property rights of The Pokémon Company, the owner of the Pokémon franchise. Intellectual property rights are the legal rights that protect the creators of original works, such as games, books, movies, music, and art. These rights include trademarks, which protect the names, logos, and slogans of a product or service, and copyrights, which protect the expression of an idea, such as the design, story, or code of a game.
The Pokémon Company is known for being very protective of its intellectual property rights, as it has sued or threatened to sue many entities that have used its trademarks or copyrights without its permission. For example, in 2019, it sued a fan event that used Pokémon images and costumes without authorization. In 2020, it sent a cease and desist letter to a Twitch streamer who used a Pokémon logo in his username.
The Pokémon Company has also issued a statement regarding Palworld, saying that it intends to investigate and take appropriate measures to address any acts that infringe on its intellectual property rights related to Pokémon. This could mean that the company will demand Palworld to remove or change the Pals that look like Pokémon, or even sue the game for damages.
The Appeal Factor
The similarity of some of the Pals to Pokémon also affects the appeal of Palworld to potential players. On one hand, some players might be attracted to Palworld because of its familiar creatures, as they might feel a connection or nostalgia for the Pokémon they grew up with. On the other hand, some players might be repelled by Palworld because of its lack of originality, as they might feel that the game is a cheap rip-off or a parody of Pokémon.
The appeal factor also depends on the tone and style of Palworld, which are very different from Pokémon. Pokémon is a game that celebrates the friendship, adventure, and diversity of its creatures, while Palworld is a game that showcases the violence, exploitation, and survival of its creatures. Some players might find this contrast amusing or intriguing, while others might find it disturbing or offensive.
The appeal factor also varies depending on the expectations and preferences of the players. Some players might enjoy Palworld for what it is, a game that mixes monster taming, survival, and crafting elements, regardless of its similarities to Pokémon. Others might prefer a game that has more original and creative designs, or a game that is more faithful and respectful to the Pokémon franchise.
Palworld is a game that has drawn a lot of attention for its similarities to Pokémon. Some of its Pals look very much like certain Pokémon, which raises questions about the game’s originality, legality, and appeal. While some players might find Palworld fun and interesting, others might find it boring and problematic. Ultimately, the game’s success will depend on how it handles the comparison and criticism from the Pokémon fans and the Pokémon Company.
(1) Palworld vs. Pokémon Comparison: Just How Similar Are the Designs?. https://www.ign.com/palworld/201198/video/palworld-vs-pokemon-comparison-just-how-similar-are-the-designs
(2) Game developers aren’t really buying the ‘similarities’ between Palworld and Pokemon: “To ‘accidentally’ create a complex model mesh with so near-exact proportions is …. https://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/gaming/game-developers-arent-really-buying-the-similarities-between-palworld-and-pokemon-to-accidentally-create-a-complex-model-mesh-with-so-near-exact-proportions-is-practically-impossible/ar-BB1h8FFS
(3) Palworld vs. Pokémon Comparison: Just How Similar Are the Designs?. https://nordic.ign.com/palworld/78078/opinion/palworld-vs-pokemon-comparison-just-how-similar-are-the-designs
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