‘Palworld,’ Aka Pokémon With Guns, Is Tearing Up The Steam And Twitch Charts

While you may be surprised with the instant success of Palworld, even in Early Access, do I really even need to say anything besides “Pokémon with guns” to explain why?

While it’s a little more complicated than that, this is more or less the gist of the idea from developer Pocketpair, where the game has launched in Early Access on Steam, and is also coming to Xbox Game Pass.

It’s doing just…incredible numbers, making for both fun gameplay and a great streaming viewing experience because of its relative insanity. At the time of this writing, Palworld is the fourth most played game on Steam with 370,000 concurrent players, behind only eternal staples CS2, Dota 2 and PUBG. But that puts it ahead of Apex Legends, GTA 5 and Baldur’s Gate 3. It’s also the top-selling game by revenue right now.

Similarly, on Twitch it is now the most viewed game on the service at the moment with 312,000 live viewers, beating out GTA 5, CS2, League of Legends and Fortnite. One reason for its high playercount is likely that it’s only $26 on Steam, barely more than a third of the price of most AAA releases. And it helps that the game is…actually good. It’s easy to imagine how the concept of “Pokémon with Guns” could be an easy shovelware cash-in, but they’ve taken the time to ensure this is a lot of fun, hence the 2,400 user reviews so far that are “Very Positive” on Steam. And Xbox picked up the scent of this early, hence its inclusion in Game Pass.

Here’s a new blog from Pocketpair celebrating the game’s release:

“Palworld started with a small team of four people. With Craftopia, we realized the potential that survival crafting games had, but as we continued development, we realized new possibilities.

“How much fun would it be if you went on an adventure, lived, and built a base with Pals, who had their own quirks and personalities? With this in mind, we have worked hard to develop this game for the past three years.

“Developers who sympathized with Palworld gathered one after another, and the scale of the game grew far beyond what we ever imagined. Palworld starts from here.”

Other than its hilarious combat, there are many things Palworld does that are different, if not outright better than Pokemon. It has base-building aspects that can be scaled into large, automated productions. And at baseline, the game has been developed in Unreal Engine 5, where even if Pokémon games remain big hits on Nintendo Switch, the tech continues to be archaic, and with each new release, players complain that little effort seems to be put into maximizing its graphical potential even on Switch. And now, Palworld is visually miles ahead of it (albeit no, it won’t be anywhere near as popular in the long run, certainly).

This went from off my radar to apparently a must-play. We’ll see how long its meteoric rise can last, but it looks like a blast.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.

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