The director of Pocketpair’s open-world survival-crafting game Palworld has defended the game’s artists, and has asked people to stop sending them abuse and death threats.
Palworld launched in early access on PC and Xbox Series X|S on Friday, January 19, and since then has sold over five million copies. According to SteamDB, earlier today (January 22) it managed to hit an all-time peak of over 1.5 million concurrent players on PC alone.
However, its success has also been mired in controversy. From its reveal, the game became unofficially known on the internet as ‘Pokémon with guns,’ since the creatures (Pals) in the world can be both shot and equipped with guns and weapons. They can also be forced to work, and even eaten. Beyond that, many internet users have also pointed out similarities between some of the Pal designs and existing Pokémon.
In a statement posted to Twitter / X today, director Takuro Mizobe wrote (translated by TechRadar Gaming contributor Alicia Haddick): “We are currently receiving a large number of tweets including death threats and abuse to artists in our company. While we have heard many comments about Palworld, all aspects of production are supervised by various people within the company, and I am responsible for the overall production.
“It would be appreciated if you could cease sending abuse towards the artists involved in the production of Palworld.”
現在、弊社のアーティストに対して誹謗中傷が届いており、殺害予告に近いようなツイートも散見されます。パルワールドに関して様々な意見を頂いておりますが、パルワールドに関する制作物の監修は全て私を含めた複数人で行っており、制作物の責任は私にあります。…January 22, 2024
Mizobe isn’t the only person associated with Palworld who has made reference to Pocketpair employees receiving threats over the game. Yesterday (January 21), Palworld community manager ‘Bucky’ said that they were “frantically” getting through all the emails and DMs they’ve received since the game's launch, but added: “However, you’ll excuse me if I skip over the death threats, threats to the company and massively outlandish claims.”
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.