Former Pokemon Company Lawyer Thinks Palworld Is a Ripoff

How to capture a Pal in Palworld which looks like Pokemon
In Short
  • Don McGowan, ex-Chief Legal Officer of Pokemon Company, has shared his thoughts on Palworld.
  • He calls the game the "usual ripoff nonsense" encountered by the company. He was also surprised that the company has "made it this far."
  • Palworld has managed to sell 6 million copies as the plagiarism debate continues.

Ever since it was launched, people worldwide have been debating whether Palworld is its own thing or just a plagiarized version of Pokemon. Things escalated even more as a new Pokemon mod for the game came out. Amidst this entire discourse, the ex-chief legal officer of the Pokemon Company, Don McGowan, has given his two cents on the matter.

In a recent edition of Game File by Stephen Totilo, McGowan shared his thoughts on the game. When asked about what he made of Palworld, he responded with the fact that the game is the “usual ripoff nonsense” that he used to encounter frequently back in his day.

However, he was surprised that the developers made it this far. This doesn’t answer whether Pocketpair crosses the line of legality. But, McGowan makes it clear that he is disinterested in the game but surprised that such a project even launched.

“This looks like the usual ripoff nonsense that I would see a thousand times a year when I was Chief Legal Officer of Pokémon. I’m just surprised it got this far.” – Don McGown

Amidst ongoing debate, the Pokemon Company is mum about the title. The parent company of the sensational monster-catching RPG is notorious for issuing litigations and DMCA takedowns of fan projects. With Palworld receiving fan mods of Pokemon, it is surprising for the company to stay silent without taking any action.

Previously, Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizone spoke with the Japanese site Automation, claiming that the game cleared legal reviews. He also claimed that they make their games “very seriously” and have no intention of infringing on intellectual properties.

Recently, Takuro posted a response on his X account (formerly Twitter), requesting people to stop online abuse. In a recent article by Bloomberg, Brandon Huffman of Odin Law & Media says Pocketpair has nothing to worry about. So, in the end, it falls on Nintendo and Pokemon Company to do their thing.

Palworld is currently out for PC via Steam early access, Game Pass, and Xbox via Game Preview. Let us know if you’ve tried the game and your thoughts about it in the comments below.

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