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Palworld – a survival game which made an impact on social media due to its initial trailer which viewers described as “Pokemon with guns” – has reached a maximum peak of 1,262,087 concurrent players at the time of writing, which is over 200,000 more than Cyberpunk 2077.
That makes it the fifth highest peak in Steam history, though the four games above it are currently free-to-play. The game only needs around 30,000 more concurrent players to overtake Dota 2, and around 65,000 to overtake Lost Ark. Above those are Counter-Strike 2 (1,818,773) and PUBG: Battlegrounds (3,257,248).
The studio claimed on Twitter to be the “highest concurrent player count of any paid game in the history of Steam”, but PUBG hit its peak when it was a paid game.
Palworld was developed by Japanese studio Pocketpair and released into early access on PC and Xbox on Friday. The game has immediately became a success – its creator claims the game has sold over 4,000,000 copies since release.
However, following its release, users on social media were quick to point out the extreme similarities between some of the designs of the Pals (the creatures that populate the game) and Pokemon.
“It’s not even subtle about its rip offs, how much else has it stolen?” wrote one user on X. Another added: “I want to like Palworld, but I don’t know if I can support running existing Pokemon through a fusor and passing them off as ‘new’ IP”.
The situation is further muddled in the eyes of some by Pocketpair’s historical relationship with generative AI tools. Artist Zaytri noted on X that one of its previous titles was ‘AI: Art Imposter’, a game which literally utilises an AI image generator as its core mechanic.