'Palworld' stirs controversy: Plagiarism, animal cruelty claims and calls for vegan gameplay
Within a week of its release, "Palworld", a creation of Pocket Pair, has seen incredible popularity and has outsold other titles. However, this successful run is laced with contentious issues. A key point of discontent stems from the "Pale" - characters that bear similarities to Pokémon in Nintendo games. Consequently, the creators of "Palworld" have faced plagiarism accusations from Pokémon enthusiasts. Even The Pokémon Company has joined the fray by releasing an official statement about the issue.
The distinguishing factor between Pale and Pokémon lies mainly in that the former can be outfitted with weapons. For instance, a player can arm a creature with a machine gun and plunge it into a deadly face-off against another creature. Further stoking the flames of controversy, Pale can be incarcerated and subjected to forced labor for empire-building purposes.
This issue has sparked uproar among activists, leading PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) to identify and highlight this alleged cruelty towards virtual creatures.
PETA advocates for a "vegan version" of the game
An Insider Gaming representative contacted PETA for their viewpoint on this topic. Elisa Allen, PETA's Vice President in charge of programs, responded with a statement emphasizing "Palworld" fans' requests to call for a "vegan guide" for the game.
Through this statement, Allen underlined that players increasingly aim to assist virtual animals by opting for a vegan diet within the game's universe and in the real world.
While this suggestion may face opposition from "Palworld"'s creators, it could encourage other game developers to think along similar lines. In closing, Allen proposed that there is room for games that pair the Pokémon concept with a vegan approach, potentially tapping into a new player niche.