Ganondorf avatar

There are over 1000 Pokemon at this point. There's bound to be some level of similarity here and there. Gamefreak even designed Pokemon after other creatures, so it just seems somewhat silly to point a finger.

peter, avatar

Palworld could totally get away with it unless it turns out they’re using ripped models. That would be monumentally stupid

thingsiplay, (edited )
thingsiplay avatar

So does Rockstar, Valve and Microsoft investigate for any unlicensed commercial usage of the Intellectual Property they own and copyright violations by others. Some are less aggressive, that's for true. If it's not, then Pokemon Company or Nintendo simply don't care.

Edit: Did the reply I was replying to disappeared? I am sure I was replying to someone who said Nintendo would go to investigate the game for any IP infringement.


Like the article points out, TPC and Nintendo have known about this game for awhile.

I think they got a little egregious with their copycat designs and color schemes, but I’m pretty sure that freaking NINTENDO has a better grip on the legal ramifications of this than anyone on the internet complaining.

Lazy design? Sure. I didn’t even play the later generations, but the style just feels like Pokemon. There’s been a hundred Pokemon clones, this one just got popular because the gameplay is actually fun and got a lot of press.

sheepishly avatar

That Azurobe model really gets me. If you look at Serperior, it has that collar that's effectively a second layer of the body, so the body above/"inside" it is thinner than the body below it. If you remove the collar, there'd be a discontinuity between the two sections. And wouldn't you know it, Azurobe has a shitty-looking ribbon slapped on the neck right about where that discontinuity would be. If they had used the Serperior model as a guide for proportions but made the model itself from scratch, there'd be no need for that ribbon to be exactly where it just so happens to be.

I'd really love to get my hands on these models and check out a few things.


The trailer came out 2 years ago. Theyve had plenty of time to do something about it and chose not to.

sheepishly avatar

But what about things that weren't in the trailer? Like certain mon designs. Or the models themselves, which obviously couldn't have been ripped and compared just from the trailer.

xkforce, (edited )

Your hypothesis is that Nintendo, one of the most litigous companies on the planet, that routinely shuts down infringing projects during development, saw that trailer and made no attempt to investigate whether that game might infringe their IP over the last two years? Or that Microsoft, a trillion+ dollar company, would have this game on game pass if they thought it infringed Nintendo’s IP? Or that Nintendo wouldn’t have tried shutting it down the day it came out like they did the palworld mod? That would be a staggering degree of incompetence in an area they are known for being exceedingly qualified.

Microsoft’s lawyers would have to be wrong. Nintendo’s lawyers would have to be sleeping on the job not keeping tabs on that game’s development. Any storefront that hosted Palworld would have to be wrong. And palworld’s developer’s lawyers would have to be wrong. There would have to be an unbelievable chain of lawyers that misjudged the legality of this game for what you proppse to happen. Its just mindblowing how people on the internet that aren’t IP lawyers somehow think they know better than all the lawyers of half a dozen multibillion and sometimes trillion, dollar companies.

thingsiplay avatar

Your hypothesis is that Nintendo, one of the most litigous companies on the planet, that routinely shuts down infringing projects during development, saw that trailer and made no attempt to investigate whether that game might infringe their IP over the last two years?

But the trailer did not contain any copyright violations or IP infringements. Now the game is out, with lots of content and a huge world, a deep dive can be done and checked every detail if anything violates something. And the game is commercial and out, and the evidence is in their hands if there is any. This can't be done with just 2 trailers showing 0,05% of the game and content. With the game in their hand, they can compare models exactly in example.

I personally don't think there is any violation here, but I am not here to judge. I just wanted to explain that this deep dive could not be done in the prior 2 years before.

jeebus avatar

Nintendo always wanted to arm their Pokemon, just were too scared to do it.

wolfshadowheart avatar

Some of them seem pretty bad. I feel like the example image with the eyes and the teeth is quite a damning stylistic choice, compared to some of their other monsters which look more like a palette swap and animal change with some model variations. Save for the few that straight up have the same attack, like the Deciduueye example, I think it's reasonable enough to use them for inspiration, although not necessarily the best option. It's a shame they felt the need to rely on something that is popular I think it hurt them a bit by not having as uniform a vision.

That said, even if I do think it's pretty obvious I don't want them to lose this if anything comes of it, Pokemon is just as bad and they have nothing to gain from ruining this persons work other than asserting dominance.

I do hope they use this as a learning opportunity for next time and maybe stop being so goddamn blatant in their "homage". I would have been much more inclined to the game if it felt like the monsters had some rationale behind them because the game is pretty solid overall. All I can say is that I hope the game continues to exist but maybe gets a more original in-world bestiary and not Pokemon Gen 15

saplyng avatar

I'd argue against the example image being damning in the first place because it's fairly obvious they're both derived from the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, which is well passed the point of being public domain


Not only that but they have entirely different body shapes and color schemes. I doubt a face by itself could be copyrighted. If that was the case a lot of anime would have issues.

Gordon_Freeman avatar

The thing is they literally took pokemon 3D assets, edited them a little and that's all

Because pals look like this

but now IN 3D!!!

They took Serperior head+ Milotic body and Primarina hair


For the thumbnail image, they took meoth face, purugly body and that's it

These designs are not "inspired" they simply imported the assets from a pokemon game on blender or something, used "copy and paste" for different body parts and that's it, job done that's their completely original creature, totally not copied


The person in social media who extracted and compared assets admitted they modified them to appear more similar because they didn't like how the game promotes animal cruelty.

One thing that a lot of people don't seem to realize in this whole discussion is that, whatever you may think of it as far as artistic integrity goes, Pokémon only owns the full complete design of their characters and the actual game files, but not every possible independently produced variation or recombination of those traits. They own Wooloo but they don't own every possible roundish sheep-like creature.

To be fair it's obvious that Palworld's company Pocket Pair doesn't care about originality. But whether the are literally infringing on the Pokémon property is unclear, and a lot of people are making serious but baseless accusations out of snowballing social media outrage.

If there's any actual, real issue that warrants a lawsuit, you can be sure that the Pokémon Company's lawyers will find it out. It's not like they need anyone to defend them, we are literally talking about the biggest media brand in the world.

TwilightVulpine, (edited )

Calling this one image damning feels like corporatized media has become so dominant, people don't really get anymore how similar things need to be for it to be an actual legal issue.

Superhero comics have a lot of characters that are obvious ripoffs of characters from other publishers and yet they are still legally distinct enough that they can get away with it. Comes to mind also how Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse to replace Oswald the Lucky Rabbit which, even though he also created, was owned by Universal. Both were rubber hose-styled. black-bodied, white-faced, big-eared animal characters wearing shorts, and yet that was also legally distinct enough for his ownership of the character to be established.

It would take far more than a similar face for Palworld to be liable of anything. Sure, it's enough for people to tell they have tried to imitate it, but by itself that's not grounds for legal action.

There are some claims of copying or tracing meshes going around on social media that could be an actual issue, but the validity of those is still questionable. The Pokémon Company needs to either point out a near identical design, and I do emphasize, near identical, or to prove that stolen assets were used in the game's creation.


Sure agree that it read like The Pokemon Company put out a statement because they felt like they had to say something.

If they were going to try and sue them, they wouldn’t make a PR announcement about it until after the suit was filed.

The game is more of a rip off of Ark than Pokemon honestly, but unlike Ark, it’s able to be played at a decent frame rate and isnt nearly as glitchy.

Gordon_Freeman avatar

The game is more of a rip off of Ark than Pokemon honestly,

Gameplay-wise, yes, but the monsters look like they took pokemon assets, alter them a little and introduce them into the game, some even look like simple palette swaps

for example:


Eh, I disagree on them being THAT big of a rip off. They’re very much 100% ripping off pokemon the idea and style, but in game none of them look like a true copy, or copy and stretch the model around. Anubis in the game just looks like what you’d think the Egyptian god (walking dog person) would look like for instance.

I 100% would not be surprised if they fed Pokemon and Pokemon fanart into an MLM and then had it generate ideas though, but it’s also possible they didn’t use ML for that and instead did the same with people. “Hey draw a Pokemon style of a [element] [animal]” lol. And let’s be real, there’s only so many animal elements monster permutations

But Pokemon doesn’t own the concept of cute monster with elemental powers, otherwise we’d never have had Digimon, TemTem, Monster Rancher, or well any other mons IP out there, so I suspect that palworld and it’s totally not Pokemon/poke balls/pokedex/gym battles game will survive for now hahaha

EvaUnit02 avatar

Digimon, Monster Rancher, and other games also didn't have creatures that are very clearly direct knock-offs of the Pokemon creature IP, either.

Gordon_Freeman avatar

Anubis is 100% Lucario, they imported it on blender changed the pawns for hands and removed the dreadlocks and put a veil and called it a day.

But Pokemon doesn’t own the concept of cute monster with elemental powers, otherwise we’d never have had Digimon, TemTem, Monster Rancher

Yeah, of course, but none of those look like "hey, can I copy your homework" each one have their own, easily recognizable, distinct style


The only thing I’ve found surprisingly is how many folks really want to get offended on Nintendo’s behalf. Like, I like Pokemon, but I don’t give a flying fuack about this whole “controversy”, or how sure some folks are of “what happened” like they were there. Nintendo is huge, Pokemon is one of the worlds largest IPs. If they find something wrong they’re going to/ already would have torn this game apart, they don’t need regular folks out there championing for them on their behalf

Gordon_Freeman avatar

I'm not offended on Nintendo's behalf, I'm simply not a palworld simp.

I dislike both (Pokemon and palworld) equally, but is crystal clear palworld uses slightly modified pokemon assets, so I have no reason to buy or support palworld, just like I have other reasons to not support or buy pokemon games


I’m not too interested in this game, watching some people play it here and there, but I think it’d be great if it defeated the giants in the industry trying to take them down. Seems like shit is legit.

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