Palworld Sells 2 Million Copies in 2 Days

Palworld Sells 2 Million Copies in 2 Days

When it comes to monster taming games, the Pokémon series hasn’t exactly had much lasting competition. Oh sure, the Digimon series gets its fair share of games here and there, Yo-Kai Watch was a big deal in the 2010s and stuff like Temtem and Cartridge Monsters have their followings…

But none have really hit the same level of success as the Pokémon series itself. They’ve either done well in certain regions but not others, done better as anime or adaptations, or gathered a cult following instead.

As a result, people have always been left wondering if that’s it. If there’s even a way to compete with Pokémon in the monster taming genre, or whether the franchise is so deeply embedded in culture that it’ll dominate the niche forever more.

However, it seems things might be getting more interesting. Why? Because out of the blue, the monster taming/crafting/adventure game Palworld has become a huge hit, with 2 million copies sold on Steam in 24 hours and a peak of nearly 850,000 players online at once. Here’s a trailer showing the game in action:

YouTube player

It’s an interesting experience, and one which is a lot darker than your average Pokémon game. You can eat your captured creatures or turn them into resources to survive, have them carry out tasks for you in your base like preparing items, or have them use firearms in addition to their normal attacks. You can also use the Poké Ball equivalents to capture humans and turn them into Pals (or yes, butcher them for food), or flat out attack the trainer rather than their team if you so desire. In other words, all the typical over the top stuff you might find a deconstructive parody of the genre.

So why has this sort of game become so successful now? What would this potentially mean for Pokémon as a franchise? Could this game ever make its way to the Nintendo Switch?

Well, we’re not sure. But we do have some thoughts about what the answers to those questions might be.

For the former, it’s pretty much a mixture of Pokémon only being for Nintendo consoles, and the declining standards of the series since X and Y. So, when a possible competitor came up with features that Game Freak’s own titles didn’t have, there was always going to be a certain level of interest.

As for what it could mean for Pokémon as a franchise? Honestly, the answer is probably nothing, at least for now. Other games have competed with Pokémon for a while, and failed entirely at incentivising Game Freak or the Pokémon Company to change up the formula or put more work into the technical side of things. Heck, some of them (like the later Yo-Kai Watch games) even looked and performed better than the Pokémon games of the same era, with less in the way of slowdown or bugs and higher quality graphics overall.

But those also didn’t exactly take the world by storm either. They did well enough (sometimes), but the sales were always way below Pokémon’s ones. It was like comparing New Super Mario Bros Wii to Rayman Legends. Yes, the latter might well be better than the latter, but the difference sales performance definitely meant Nintendo weren’t sleeping uneasy any of those nights.

Palworld seems a bit different in that sense. It’s done well enough in its early days to compete with X and Y in terms of sales (selling about half what they did in their first weekend without anywhere near as much marketing or brand recognition). And while that’s not amazing compared to generation 7 onwards, it’s still probably enough that it might incentivise the team to sit up and take a few notes, or at least not rest on their laurels as much.

As for a Switch release, there’s nothing in the cards right now. The team at Pocketpair say they are no plans for it at the moment, though it might happen in future.

And given the game seems to be a day-one exclusive on Xbox GamesPass, it seems like the plan is to stick to PC and Xbox consoles for the time being.

But it’s unlikely Nintendo themselves would deny the game a release there for any sort of legal reason. After all, there are other Pokémon esque games on the system (like Temtem) as well as those which take heavy inspiration from Nintendo’s own titles (like all the Paper Mario style games being released recently).

So, unless something goes down with the similar creature designs (which in some cases have been compared Pokémon ones), it could definitely appear on Nintendo’s system in future.

Either way, what do you think? Are you playing Palworld? What do you think the odds are of it doing well enough to given Pokémon a run for its money?

Will the similarities end in a lawsuit or other fight with Nintendo?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below, on social media, or on our Discord server today!

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