Although the new Palworld game is off to a strong start on Steam, not everyone is happy with the game's launch. For example, the game has been accused of plagiarizing Pokemon literature. Many users on social media point to Pocket Pair's past, which was often associated with generative AI tools.
In the first three days, Palworld was sold digitally more than 4 million times. Reason enough for many users on social media to highlight the similarities with Pokémon. The opinion that the monster's design is too similar to the Nintendo series has haunted Palword since its announcement.
Although the gameplay in both titles is of course vastly different, the influences of Pokémon in the game are clearly highlighted. Users are not happy about it.
Galarian Meowth's face pic.twitter.com/fc6juxyEe9
— Barbie-Elite4 (@Barbie_E4) January 18, 2024
In fact, it's funny that Cinderace has the best chance of getting Palworld sued by the Pokemon Company
This is a complete carbon copy. The only difference between this thing and Cinderace is that it is the grass type pic.twitter.com/Wv22P0qP8i
– Bun (@GodmasterBun) January 19, 2024
– onion_mu (@onion_mu) January 18, 2024
To put similar designs in context, many users also return to Pocket Pair's association with generative AI tools. For example, artist Zitri points to a game from the studio called AI: Art Imposter. This is a game that has an AI image generator as a core mechanic.
Zitri also mentions that Pocket Pair CEO Takuro Mizube has already stated in the past that generative AI could be used in the future to avoid copyright claims. Mizobi even showed in 2021 how generative AI can create new Pokémon designs.
Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that the designs in Palworld are effectively made using generative AI, although that does explain why Pokemon influences are strongly present here and there.
According to Mizubi, all 100 Palworld Pal designs were designed by a graduate student. According to the CEO, the young lady applied to 100 different companies, but was not accepted anywhere. Now she has brought all the monsters in Palworld to virtual life.
Here's the Pocketpair CEO talking about using AI to bypass copyright, creating fake software with it, calling AI: Art Imposter a real-time image generation game, and getting excited about GPT-4-powered games pic.twitter.com/79xwZr0yEI
— Zaytri 🍉 #StrikeForPalestine (@imZaytri) January 19, 2024
It remains to be seen whether or not Nintendo will respond to the entire story.
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