Palworld has sold a million copies in just over eight hours, according to developer Pocketpair. The game has been on our radar for a while, thanks to its unique ‘Pokémon with guns’ premise, and it looks like launch day has been an absolute success.
It’s been so successful, as a matter of fact, that the game’s servers have been buckling under the stress of millions of gun-toting PokéMasters. The developer urges patience and says it’s “working to resolve this ASAP!” The sheer number of downloads and concurrent players have made this the biggest Steam launch of the year so far, according to GamesRadar.
These figures only refer to Steam. The early access version of Palworld also launched on Game Pass, so the number of downloads is likely much higher than advertised, as there are no Xbox Series X/S numbers. It looks like many people have been jonesing for a dark and gritty take on everyone’s favorite pocket monsters.
And boy, is this game dark and gritty. Instead of releasing unwanted monsters, called Pals, back into the wild, you murder them with a cleaver. You can also sell your “Pals” into slavery, eat them and, of course, battle them to the death. One of the game’s trailers shows piles of Pal corpses stacked up, reaching into the heavens. The whole thing seems to be a satirical riff on the very nature of Pokémon, which is a game franchise in which you force your very good friends to fight just to further your own reputation.
Palworld has gotten pretty good reviews so far, and this is an early access build, so the devs will likely refine the gameplay in the coming months. In the meantime, you can pick it up on Steam for $27, until it reverts to its normal price of $30. It’s also a day-one Game Pass release, so boot up your Xbox and give it a go. Just try to keep the murder count down. Or not.