Pokémon fans send Palworld devs death threats amidst monumental success

Posted on January 23, 2024

Palworld’s meteoric rise to fame has not been achieved free of controversy as players lambast developer Pocketpair for what is said to be a Pokémon ripoff. Accusations of infringement aside, players have additionally begun sending death threats to members of the team, something no doubt taking a toll on the studio workers who’ve suddenly found themselves in the limelight.

Since its launch into Early Access just last week, open-world survival game Palworld has been nothing short of a viral sensation. Selling 1 million copies in its first 8 hours and 5 million copies in its first 3 days, the resounding success of Palworld can not be understated. Even with its simultaneous launch onto Game Pass, the game has still managed to amass 1.5 million concurrent Steam players at its peak, making it Steam’s most-played game right now and the third-highest all-time peak in Steam history.

Whilst the development team has been quick to share their success online, there have also been individuals amongst the Pocketpair team who have started to share the unfortunate side of popularity, too.

Pocketpair Community Manager Bucky has expectedly been seeing a lot of this heat as a front-facing person within the company and a connecting force between the community and the development team. They took to X/Twitter to say, Frantically working through all my DMs and emails! I promise! …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 took to X/Twitter to share his disappointing interactions. As translated by IGN, Mizobe claims, “…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.”

Palworld creature holding a weapon and walking through snow

Regardless of your perspective on the game’s monster designs and whether they should infringe on Pokémon’s IP, it’s safe to say that death threats are not the answer. Have you been one of the 5 million + playing Palworld?