Home Palworld hits astonishing 4m sales, is potentially riddled with AI, and most players don’t care

Palworld hits astonishing 4m sales, is potentially riddled with AI, and most players don’t care

The mind-boggling success of Palworld’s first weekend – with developer Pocketpair saying at one point the game was selling 86,000 copies an hour on its way to racking up four million sales in three days according to Gamesindustry.biz has certainly made the games industry sit up and take notice of this little indie hit.

Let’s be clear here, this is not a new Zelda game, nor is it Call of Duty, it’s a very unfinished open-world romp that looks like Tears of the Kingdom, plays like Valheim, and owes a fair amount to the Pokemon games. Why that heady mix has grabbed the attention of so many gamers might never be fully understood but it did also make us unlearn something we have been taught over the past few weeks – the majority of players won’t actually boycott a game accused of having AI content inside it.

In recent times we have had uproar about Apex Legends, The Day Before, and The Finals all using AI to generate in-game content. On Saturday accusations were flying around that Pocketpair had used AI to generate Pokemon-like monsters. These assumptions were mainly based on historical tweets from CEO Takuro Mizobe previously declared his love for AI content generation.

Even if the accusers are right and Palworld is heavily using AI content – 86,000 copies sold an hour. It’s going to be difficult to persuade other developers and publishers that they should steer clear for fear of a gamer boycott. The numbers are heavily stacked here that most people either do not know or don’t really care.

Steam recently introduced its new rules stating that devs need to declare AI-generated content and Palworld’s description on the online storefront has no such admission, but in fairness, it was probably added to Steam sometime before those rules came into play.

If you are one of the four million currently engrossed in Palworld and need a little help, some of these pages may be of interest to you.

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

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