Open-world survival and Pokémon lookalike game Palworld, was launched in an early access mode on January 19 2024 and within three days of release, the game has sold 5 million units across Steam, Valve and Xbox Game Pass. The game made 2 million sales in first 24 hours of launch and reached 3 million in 40 hours. It has become the game with the highest player count surpassing Cyberpunk and ranks below Sony’s Marvel Spider-Man 2 game that sold over 2.5 million units in 24 hours back in October 2023.
Developed by Pocketpair studios, Palworld has been referred to as “Pokémon with guns” due to its resemblance with the Nintendo’s franchise. The game challenges players to collect creatures called Pals, which look strikingly similar to ones from Pokémon and raise them. Players, along with their Pals then face off against environmental challenges in the Palpagos Islands (similar to the real Galápagos Islands), from harsh weather conditions to food shortages and poachers.
Beyond their cute appearance, the players can summon pals of their choice when in need for combat or assist them with duties like building structures, farming and other manual labor tasks. The game includes a variety of action-oriented mechanics like the Pals wielding guns. Developers say that the survival-minded structure of Palworld is different despite the perceived similarities with other games.
The mechanics in the game are fairly easy to learn but gradually become complex as you level up. Palworld features a dynamic and vibrant open world similar to the likes of Genshin Impact players can roam freely. The optimization of the game is fairly good as an RTX 3060 graphics card can make way for 60 FPS gameplay on High settings.
We may have seen numerous Steam releases that enjoy an initial surge in player count but later fade into obscurity, few months after the release. The real question would be if Palworld can stand the test of time and retain or double its vast player count, in the coming months.