Why is Palworld so popular? And what it means for Pokémon

Video Gamer is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices subject to change. Learn more

While there’ve been plenty of mud thrown around between Palworld fans and Pokémon fans following the former game’s success – a common refrain from the community of late is that they hope something good can come from the game’s popularity – and maybe even improve each other in the process.

A number of threads on the Palworld subreddit have explained the popularity by arguing that Palworld’s mix of genres has managed to scratch an itch that wasn’t being met by Nintendo’s Pokémon series – or many of the other games it’s been accused of copying. “I know Palworld isn’t the first to the game in the monster taming and open world genre,” says Scarlet_Devil. “But if a skilled developer can make a good and enjoyable game even compared to its predecessors, should we stop them?” BonemanJones went one step further “Thing is, they’re self admittedly not even a skilled dev. An amateur dev made a good and enjoyable game compared to its predecessor, which at least to me implies the insane lack of competition and innovation in the genre.” They even closed by saying “Game Freak isn’t interested in making a good Pokémon game, so someone else did.”

This accusation that Game Freak have taken their position for granted seems to be a fair common theme, as Scarlet_Devil’s response to the above made clear “I agree, I been trying to make this point, for a long time I have felt Game Freak has gotten too use to people buying their games no matter what and lost their edge, its kinda fun to see Pocketpair stir things up.” Even long term Pokémon fans seem to agree, such as SnelleEd. “This, as much as I love pokemon the newer games lack soul. its just a copy paste without any innovation, or at least good innovation. We are in 2024 and the games still look like they came out in 2014. They are only interested in easy money. maybe now they have to change and do better.”

Right now, it seems like Palworld’s popularity isn’t going to slow down any time soon – with the game’s Twitter account boasting that its Steam users currently playing has hit an all time high number of 1.85 million. That’s not even counting the number playing on Xbox and those playing on PC via Game Pass. Word of mouth – and indeed, the arguments between both camps are of course clearly having a knock on effect, bringing more and more people to the game as they come to see what all the fuss is about, and exactly how close Palworld is to Pokemon.

While the team continues to work on resolving tech issues – starting with today’s Palworld Xbox patch – and trying to resolve that pesky ‘Sorry you are currently prevented from playing online multiplayer games’ error – eyes will no doubt be on the next lot of Pokémon game announcements. And we may not be waiting too long – as Pokémon Day, the traditional event that new Pokémon games are announced – is expected to take place at the end of February.

In the meantime, check out our Palworld Fast Travel Guide: how to fast travel and get anywhere quickly or our guide on the Palworld dupe glitch – How to duplicate to get infinite resources.