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How is Palworld Legal? Controversy Surrounding “Pokemon with Guns”

Will Nintendo sue Palworld over its similarities to Pokémon?

It doesn’t take long to see the resemblance between Palworld and Pokémon. They both have you gather and train a collection of pocket monsters (Pokémon and Pals). But Nintendo hasn’t taken legal action. So, how is Palworld legal, and what’s the controversy surrounding it all about?

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How is Palworld Legal and Addressing Its Controversy

Palworld is an Early Access game greatly influenced by the style and mechanics of Pokémon. However, it’s avoided any lawsuits from Nintendo so far.

What Makes Palworld Legal

First, we must look at the reasons that could lead to a lawsuit for Palworld. If Nintendo wanted to take action, it would have to prove that Palworld infringes on the Pokémon copyright. Ultimately, Palworld is legal because the Pals are original creations, the gameplay is more survival-based, and no assets or names from Pokémon are being used

Even with the controversy of Palworld being described as “Pokémon with guns” and the rather inhumane things you can do to the Pals and other humans in the world, the game should be safe from any potential lawsuits from Nintendo. Nintendo doesn’t own the monster-capturing genre. Even though Pokémon might be the most popular franchise in that genre, there are others like Digimon and Monster Rancher, too.

The Basis of the Pals

Lamball sleeping on a shoddy bed
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Another aspect that helps Palworld is that many of the Pals are based on animals that exist in real life. And this is also true for Pokémon. This, in combination with the lack of copied assets and vastly different gameplay mechanics that are more similar to ARK, means that Palworld is in the clear as far as legal issues might go.

And that covers how Palworld is legal, despite the controversy surrounding its similarities to Pokémon. For the time being, Nintendo doesn’t have a reason to pursue Pocketpair. From here, head to our guides hub, where you can continue building your base and collecting Pals with the help of pieces like how to get and use schematics or how to fix base Pals stuck after a raid.

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Melissa Sarnowski
Melissa Sarnowski has been working as a gaming writer professionally for two years, having been at GameSkinny for over a year now as a horror beat writer. She has an English degree from University of Wisconsin - Madison. While she focuses on all things horror, she also enjoys cozy games, MMOs like FFXIV and WoW, and any and everything in between.