However, the survival game’s success ignited discourse around perceived similarities between its character designs and those of the Pokémon games, with many accusing it of plagiarism.
According to Reuters, Furukawa was asked about the Palworld situation at a Q&A following Nintendo’s latest financial results briefing.
While Furukawa didn’t specifically cast aspersions on Palworld itself, he reportedly replied: “We will take appropriate action against those that infringe our intellectual property rights.”
Furukawa’s comments come two weeks after The Pokémon Company broke its silence on the situation, during which it said it was investigating whether Palworld infringes on its IP rights.
“We have received many inquiries regarding another company’s game released in January 2024,” the company said in a statement.
“We have not granted any permission for the use of Pokémon intellectual property or assets in that game. We intend to investigate and take appropriate measures to address any acts that infringe on intellectual property rights related to the Pokémon.
“We will continue to cherish and nurture each and every Pokémon and its world, and work to bring the world together through Pokémon in the future.”
Although the actual gameplay of Palworld is vastly different from Nintendo’s series, debate has raged on social media around the obvious influence its character designs have taken from Pokémon, and whether it could be interpreted as plagiarism.
Speaking to Japanese site Automaton, he claimed that Palworld had cleared legal reviews, and that there has been no action taken against it by other companies.
“We make our games very seriously, and we have absolutely no intention of infringing upon the intellectual property of other companies,” he said.