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Recent comments made by Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa have almost entirely laid to rest any heat that may have existed between Nintendo and Pocket Pair Inc. As part of an interview with Reuters Japan about Nintendo’s recent quarterly financial results, Furukawa made a swift statement about how he views the Pokémon competitor/knock-off, Palworld.


“We will take appropriate action against those that infringe on our intellectual property rights.”


That sounds remarkably similar to what The Pokémon Company said in a press release a few weeks back. While there isn’t much to infer from this statement, obviously Nintendo will be investigating if any game with similarities to its mega-franchise could potentially form a case of copyright infringement. As it stands right now, while certain artistic elements are clearly inspired by Pokémon, Palworld has not broken any laws.

What about Palworld mods?

You may be remembering a Pokémon-themed mod for Palworld that released a few weeks ago. Does that constitute copyright infringement? While I couldn’t claim that for certain, Nintendo certainly wasn’t willing to let people mistake this latest indie craze for its popular series. After modder ToastedShoes uploaded a video of him playing through Palworld with characters from Pokémon, Nintendo almost immediately issued a DMCA notice to him.


In that instance, there was a very clear breach of copyright. Palworld on its own, while heavily inspired by TPC’s series, is merely a copycat. If every game with similarities to Pokémon were to be put under scrutiny, even the recently released Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth would be infringing on copyright. That’s just not how things work.

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Written by Peter Glagowski

Peter has been a freelance gaming and film critic for over seven years. His passion for Nintendo is only matched by the size of his collection.