It was only a matter of time before Palworld, the wildly popular monster-collecting survival game the internet has come to refer to as “Pokemon with guns,” received a mod to turn it into actual Pokemon with guns. That time is now here, just days after release, and it’s for that reason the game’s modding community is attempting to get ahead of any potential legal action from Pokemon parent company Nintendo by distancing itself from the mod ahead of time.
In a post on the Palworld Modding Community Discord server (accessible via a link on the PalworldMods subreddit), server admin Archery 100 announced that links and files related to Pokemon mods would be banned on the Discord, and anyone caught posting such material would be immediately banned. However, players can still engage in “casual discussion” of the mod.
“Hey y’all, I’m sure many of you have been seeing all the content regarding the Pokemon mod for Palworld,” Archery 100 writes. “While the memes and such are hilarious, the mod alone hosts a giant risk to the community and we’ll need to take precautions so that Nintendo’s lawyers don’t nuke all of us with litigious actions. The mod is highly likely using ripped assets and is very illegal in Nintendo’s eyes.”
Nintendo has a long history of taking action when its intellectual property is involved. Last year it issued a DMCA takedown in order to remove an emulator from Steam that allowed users to play various Nintendo games. In 2021, Nintendo issued a DMCA takedown order that removed 379 fan-made games from gaming website Gaming Jolt, claiming the games in question featured made unauthorized use of Nintendo property, including Nintendo characters and music.
That certainly doesn’t bode well for the future of the Palworld Pokemon mod. The mod in question isn’t live just yet but has already caused quite a bit of buzz in the game’s community. YouTuber ToastedShoes stated in a post with more than 5 million views on X (formerly Twitter) that they will soon release a new video that will dive into what all the Pokemon mod for Palworld offers, including being able to play as Pokemon protagonist Ash Ketchum and a total conversion of all the games Pal creatures into actual Pokemon.
In the meantime, players looking for Pokemon mods will likely have to do some digging. Users on the PalworldMods subreddit claim Pokemon-related mods are being removed from popular mod-hosting site Nexus Mods. At least for the time being, other sites, like CurseForge, seem to allow Pokemon-themed mods judging from a currently available mod that turns players into the Pokemon character Misty.
Palworld’s success has taken the internet by storm. The game rapidly soared past 5 million copies sold, despite still being in early access and also launching on Xbox Game Pass for both consoles and PC. It also saw more than 1.5 million concurrent players over the weekend, breaking the record for third highest concurrent player count in Steam history behind only Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and PUBG. According to Palworld developer Pocketpair, there are currently no plans for Palworld to release on PlayStation 5, but it will be considered over the course of development.