‘Pokemon’-inspired ‘Palworld’ announced during Indie Live Expo

It's like 'Pokémon', but sadder

Palworld, a Pokémon-inspired multiplayer survival game, was announced yesterday during the ongoing Indie Live Expo event.

Developed by Pocketpair, Inc. Palworld is an open-world survival crafting game that features mysterious creatures known as the ‘Pal’.

The game’s official Steam trailer shows players building, fighting and gliding across the field in gameplay that looks similar to The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Fortnite and Pokémon.


Palworld monster shield
Palworld. CREDIT: Pocketpair, Inc.

The Pokémon series has always been fairly safe in its approach to the relationship between Pokémon and humans. Palworld seems to be a little darker, leaning more on capitalistic themes of forced labour and factory automation.

The game’s official description reads: “You can have a large number of Pals work on the construction. Don’t worry; labor laws won’t be applied to Pals.”

Further into the description, the developers state players can “build a factory and place Pals in it. They will work forever as long as they’re fed until the end of their lifetime”.

Twitter users have been quick to pick up on the game’s darker take on pocket monsters, commenting on the themes of forced labour and the inclusion of guns.


Animal rights organisation PETA has condemned Pokémon on a number of occasions. Most recently the charity released a parody version of the game in 2019, which coincided with the release of Pokémon Sword & Shield.

Pocketpair, Inc. didn’t provide a release date for the Palworld. However, according to Steam the game will release some time in 2022.

In other news, Nintendo announced the official date and time for its E3 2021 showcase this week, along with details on its Treehouse Live event.

Nintendo has confirmed that the Direct will focus exclusively on Nintendo Switch software releasing in 2021.