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Twitter users are dedicated to reviewing all the Pals in Palworld; the level of plagiarism will surprise you

Palworld continues to be in the spotlight, now with various users on social media and professionals reacting to their findings, demonstrating that plagiarism is highly likely.

Twitter users are dedicated to reviewing all the Pals in Palworld; the level of plagiarism will surprise you
Álvaro Arbonés

Álvaro Arbonés

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Palworld has been a sales success. It has a number of simultaneous players that competes only with the most played games in history. And controversy accompanies it and intensifies more and more. Because although it is something that has been happening since its launch last Friday, according to the information that has been collected, small investigations have been emerging that put into question the idea that Palworld is a mere parody. Because there are reasons to think otherwise.

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The person who has kicked off with a more serious and in-depth research work is Cecilia Fae on Twitter. Creating a thread comparing all the pal, the monsters of Palworld, which bear any resemblance to any kind of Pokémon, she has sought to determine to what extent they can be defined as ripoffs of the Nintendo franchise. What she has found is that out of 111 pal, at least 63 can be defined somewhere between plagiarism and suspicious similarity. An alarming number, considering that it represents more than half of the game’s creatures.

In fact, the evidence has only been rapidly piling up from this point on. Twitter user byofrog is making a series of short videos demonstrating how the base model of some pals is practically identical to that of certain Pokémon. What does this mean? Well, as several professional artists have pointed out to Video Games Chronicle, it is likely that they used the models to slightly modify them and then paint over them, thus creating their own monsters. Something that falls directly into the field of plagiarism.

In fact, one of the artists who spoke anonymously to VGC was very explicit about it. “You can’t, under any circumstances, accidentally have the same proportions in multiple models from another game without extracting the models. Or at the very least, meticulously copying them first.” Something that, if it is confirmed that the models from both games come from the same source, puts Pocketpair, the developer of Palworld, in a tricky situation.

Regarding all this, Pocketpair’s CEO, Takuro Mizobe, has preferred to keep a low profile. Stating that they have passed legal analysis and that no other company has taken legal action against them, he has pointed out that “we have no intention of violating the intellectual property of other companies.”

Something that, in turn, may change in the near future. At least if The Pokémon Company’s policies haven’t changed over time. Because according to Don McGowan, who led the company’s legal team between 2008 and 2020 in Game File, journalist Stephen Totilo’s video game newsletter, “this looks like the typical senseless plagiarism that I had to see thousands of times a year when I was Chief Legal Officer of Pokémon”. Adding that “I’m surprised it has come this far”.

As Stephen Totilo has mentioned in this same newsletter, Mizobe doesn’t like the comparisons between Palworld and Pokémon and appreciates when journalists point out that these similarities are superficial. Unfortunately, it seems that these similarities may be much deeper than they appear. And even though he doesn’t like it, it seems bound that we will continue to talk about Palworld with the name Pokémon next to it for a long time. Especially while the extreme and practically impossible similarities between their models are being clarified.

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Álvaro Arbonés

Álvaro Arbonés

Cultural journalist and writer with a special interest in audiovisuals and everything that can be played. I'm not here to talk about my books, but you can always ask me about them if you're curious.

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