A screenshot from the opening cutscene of Palworld with 3 characters staring at you.
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Pokémon fans continue to blast Palworld as AI comments surface from developer’s CEO

The latest gaming sensation faces trouble in its paradise of success.

Palworld is the talk of the town and one of the fastest-growing games in the industry’s history. It’s already been inducted into Steam’s top 10 most-played games ever, but it is not without its share of controversy. After being accused of copying Pokémon, Palworld is now under fire for allegedly using generative AI.

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The action-survival game has been a massive success for the developer, Pocketpair. The latter has previously released a few other games, but none has reached the heights of Palworld. Those exact earlier releases, and some other details mentioned by the community, have drawn criticism for Palworld and accusations that the game may have used generative AI to avoid copyright infringement, particularly on account of Pokemon. Pocketpair’s CEO has also previously commented on using AI to bypass copyright claims, all of which have put Palworld in a curious position.

Prior to making Palworld, Pocketpair released a title called AI: Art Impostor, which was built with the use of AI, as the name implies, and even had a built-in generative AI tool. The developer studio’s CEO, Takuro Mizobe, commented in 2021 and 2022 on how AI could be used to avoid getting copyright claimed and used, you’ve guessed it, Pokémon as an example. These comments have given rise to suspicion that Palworld may have used AI to create their designs based on existing Pokémon. The developers have already been accused of plagiarizing the designs, and the AI stuff only added fuel to the fire.

Popular artist Tahko said on X (formerly Twitter) on Jan. 20 that issues such as these shouldn’t be ignored just because a game is fun. Palworld is a massively successful title with more-than-favorable reviews, which has driven some people to ignore such claims, Tahko said. Nintendo has yet to react, if they ever will, to Palworld‘s character design, and only then will we get some definitive answers.


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Author
Andrej Barovic
Strategic Content Writer, English Major. Been in writing for 3 years. Focused mostly on the world of gaming as a whole, with particular interest in RPGs, MOBAs, FPS, and Grand Strategies. Favorite titles include Counter-Strike, The Witcher 3, Bloodborne, Sekrio, and Kenshi. Cormac McCarthy apologetic.