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Palworld Devs Says They Have Received Death Threats Amid Pokémon 'Rip-Off' Claims

Amid the explosive launch of
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, its developers have taken to social media to say they have received death threats.


Last week, IGN reported on how Palworld, aka ‘Pokémon with guns’, had sparked a vociferous debate online about whether it had “ripped-off” Nintendo’s famous franchise.

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, with a number of social media posts that place Pals next to Pokémon going viral.

Palworld developer Pocketpair has insisted Palworld is more akin to survival crafting games such as Ark Survival Evolved and Valheim than Pokemon, but that hasn’t stopped people from continuing to hit out at the game.


Pocketpair community manager Bucky, who has been active on Twitter / X and Palworld’s Discord,
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to say they had received death threats since the game went live in early access form on January 19.

“Frantically working through all my DMs and emails! I promise!” Bucky said. “However, you'll excuse me if I skip over the death threats, threats to the company and massively outlandish claims.

“If you're capable of writing like an actual human being though, I'll reply asap!”

Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizobe also
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to say they had received death threats, and hit out at “slanderous comments”.

“Currently, we are receiving slanderous comments against our artists, and we are seeing tweets that appear to be death threats,” Mizobe said.

“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.”


In a new interview published by
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, Mizobe addressed the question of potential legal issues surrounding Palworld’s release and its likeness to Pokémon. According to the site, Mizobe said Palworld cleared legal reviews, and insisted there has been no action taken against it by other companies.

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

Last year, a new survey from the
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revealed a majority of game developers see harassment from players as a major problem for the industry. Of the 2,300 developers surveyed, 91% said player harassment and toxicity towards developers was an issue. 42% said it's a "very serious" issue.

While Palworld is a clear smash hit, it is not without controversy.
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, and Palworld’s enormous launch has seen its servers struggle, too.

Check out IGN’s
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to find out what we thought.


Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at [email protected] or confidentially at [email protected].

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