Naughty Dog Says Palworld Devs Are Cheating Amid Plagiarism Accusations

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"Palworld Was Made Nefariously"

Story Highlights
  • Palworld’s ability to break so many records has made it the subject of controversy.
  • Many believe the game’s foundations have been built on plagiarism.
  • A developer from Naughty Dog also chimed in, claiming that the developers are cheating.

Palworld is the talk of the town in 2024. Having sold 2 million units, the game has become Steam’s third-biggest release in less than a week. It has also peaked at nearly 1.6 million concurrent players.

Amid this success, the game has sparked debates about plagiarism and the use of AI-generated content, with a developer from Naughty Dog claiming that Palworld was created nefariously.

Why it matters: From the beginning, Palworld was dubbed ‘Pokemon with guns,’ but after its current success, the supposedly blatant plagiarism is not as funny as it once was.

Following this controversial remark, the Naughty Dog developer has deleted his tweet. However, he wrote that Palworld’s success appears to be a result of cheating despite no apparent proof.

The developer said:

“They’re cheating somehow, I just can’t pinpoint how.”

It is no surprise that Palworld is currently being compared to Pokemon. The game is also not the first attempt at a similar monster-hunting title, creating compelling designs that appeal to all audiences.

However, Palworld seems to go one step beyond inspiration. The situation has become so controversial that artists working on the game are now receiving death threats. The CEO of Pocketpair said: 

“We are currently receiving abusive and defamatory comments against our artists, in addition to death threats.”

Still, the CEO did not refute these claims outright, claiming that all the materials related to Palworld were created by him and his team.

As Twitter user byofrog points out, Palworld seems to use exact models from Pokemon. There is certainly an element of game design that could be considered plagiarism here.

Additionally, Pocketpair’s reliance on AI-generated content in the past does not help the argument. However, all of this is for Nintendo and Game Freak to decide.

The Naughty Dog developer has pointed to this tweet to highlight his point better. Still, many feel a fellow developer should be more encouraging of a successful team, especially one that is being targeted by death threats.

Despite the controversy, Plaworld is undeniably 2024’s biggest success. The game adds unique features like weapons and MMO elements to differentiate itself from Pokemon, becoming a winning formula.

As of today, the game has sold 6 million units. The all-time concurrent player count has also exceeded 1.7 million, with many hoping this success will be a wake-up call for Game Freak after the poor quality of recent Pokemon games.

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