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The incredible rise of Palworld was unexpected, but the newest sensation of the 2024 gaming scene is more than just its overnight success amongst users of the best esports betting sites. It has a backstory that explains its widespread popularity.
If you’re curious about why this survival simulation game, with its quirky traits and Pokémon-inspired gameplay, has sold an impressive 7 million copies and continues to grow, there are several factors at play. However, it’s important to mention that the catchy phrase “Pokémon with guns” that’s been aligned with the game serves as a starting point.
Palworld Game VS Starfield in a Nutshell pic.twitter.com/afuOIjZyjC
— NikTek (@NikTekOfficial) January 27, 2024
Where It All Began
Back in 2021, Palworld made its debut through an attention-grabbing reveal trailer that quickly gained traction. This trailer earned it the nickname “Pokémon, with firearms.” Far everything aligns with online behavior; the presentation was quirky. Everyone enjoyed laughing at the most ridiculous aspects of the trailer, and our focus soon shifted to what came next.
Nevertheless, Palworld had accomplished sufficient to receive numerous Steam wishlists and appear on multiple radars. The Pokémon situation may warrant a moment of pause.
Are Palworld’s designs inferior and derivative? Sure. Are they violators? That much is in the hands of the courts; however, the game is still available for purchase. And since its inception, the subversion of Pokémon has been the driving force behind this game’s ubiquitous appeal.
How Pokémon talking to their lawyers right now about Palworld 😂🤦🏾♂️ pic.twitter.com/vCe3zpvWLg
— Mark Phillips (@SupremeDreams_1) January 26, 2024
Although many of us adore Pokémon, Pokémon video games are intended for minors. Real-life Pokémon devotees comprise an entire demographic of adults who developed mature sensibilities towards humor that Game Freak will never be able to fulfill. While Pikachu may be likened to an indentured slave animal in Pokémon, Palworld’s reliance on those systems undermines the most meticulously maintained and valuable gaming brand: Grand Theft Auto, despite its phenomenal sales, is in no way comparable to the power and influence of Pokémon.
In other words, it appears that participants derive pleasure from approaching an adorable animal, forcing it to submit, and then proceeding to the next one. However, Palworld’s success is not solely attributable to its satisfaction of adults’ craving for a daring caricature; the fact remains…
“Hopefully Pokemon will get off their ass and make a game like this”
Ninja’s thoughts on the Pokemon & Palworld drama pic.twitter.com/n0qofJlnVN
— Fridge 🧊 (@SmartFridgePro) January 24, 2024
Palworld Is Quite a Good Game
An underappreciated aspect of Palworld’s success is the fact that it is a systems-driven survival game featuring a great deal of humorous jank in the interactions. While not claiming to be a masterpiece, this game is fundamentally systems-driven, with the unexpected interactions it presents constituting half the enjoyment.
You will be racing around fortified with a machinegun-wielding albino chipmunk-like creature atop your head after forty-five minutes while you destroy a group of penguins at workbenches to construct what you require. And this is essentially unstructured; contrary to the Pokémon with firearms slogan, this more closely resembles Rust or Valheim with Pokémon tossed in.
These segments are why Palworld content receives approximately 400 million views on TikTok; remember that this only includes content tagged as such.
I just found out you can post 4 videos in 1 tweet!🤯
Anyways, who’s your choice? pic.twitter.com/0rwxXC5pbN
— Palworld (@Palworld_EN) October 6, 2022
Although Palworld is a survival game and arguably more straightforward than many others, the Pals truly distinguish it. An initial sense of amusement is generated by bludgeoning a seemingly harmless sheep, capturing it, and subjecting it to laborious tasks.
However, this is quickly overshadowed by the realization that an automated army can perform the genre’s tedious tasks while also aiding in cleaning equipment on the battlefield.
A Top Hit of 2024?
Palworld has had a week of breaking records regarding downloads, streaming, and overall popularity on Steam and Xbox. It has sold over seven million copies already. The developers have just released the roadmap for the game, accompanied by a message urging players to be patient. But what about the future?
— HazzadorGamin, Dragon of Dojima (@HazzadorGamin) January 27, 2024
While I don’t view Palworld as a top-tier game, it offers much enjoyment when played with friends and creates unique interactions you’ll struggle to find anywhere else. These factors contribute to its status as a passing phenomenon rather than an overnight sensation.
Will people still be playing it six months from now? Perhaps not to the extent they are currently. Nonetheless, its combination of simplified survival mechanics and its controversial approach to a known theme has captivated an audience that none of us could’ve predicted.