Palworld, the monster-taming game that took the world by storm continues to receive criticism, this time coming from a Behaviour Interactive executive.
Palworld skyrocketed to the top of gaming charts upon the release of its early-access version on January 19, 2024. Within its first 40 hours, the game sold 3 million copies and broke the record for most concurrent players on Steam. It went on to reach over 8 million sales in its first six days before the almost-daily sales updates stopped being shared.
With its undeniable success and record-breaking numbers, it’s almost inevitable for Palworld to garner millions of reactions – both positive and negative.
Behaviour Interactive Executive says Palworld feels “empty”
Among the most salient criticisms of Palworld comes from comparisons with fellow monster-taming game Pokemon. In the first few days upon release, many Pokemon fans were quick to accuse Pocketpair of “plagiarism” and directly copying assets and models from their beloved game.
The comparison cannot be helped, as many players dubbed Palword as “Pokemon with guns” even before its release.
However, a new criticism of the game comes from Behaviour Interactive Chief of Staff Nathan Sellyn, who wrote in a now deleted post on LinkedIn why he thinks Palworld is “buggy… boring and repetitive.”
Behaviour Interactive is the developer behind Dead by Daylight and Sellyn didn’t hold back his thoughts, sharing that it didn’t take long for him to be “sick of talking” about Palworld. He then explains why he didn’t find the game to be good, specifying five main reasons for his conclusion.
First, the executive says that the game is “insanely buggy.” Sellyn is not alone in his observation; there are plenty of Palworld enthusiasts finding random glitches and quality-of-life exploits that Palworld developers may not have intended to happen.
Another reason Sellyn dislikes the game is its “boring and repetitive” combat style. This may also lead to his second point of Palworld’s “awful balancing,” as catch rates seem to have a low probability for higher-level players.
Palworld’s continued comparison with Pokemon
What sets Sellyn’s criticism of Palworld apart from the usual is his claim that Pals are “disposable resources and labor.” He shares that after hours of gameplay and capturing hundreds of pals, he wouldn’t remember a single one of them.
Sellyn adds that what sets Pokemon apart from its newest competitor is the empathy the trainer feels for their party members.
On Pokemon and the “power of empathy,” Selynn recalls an episode from the franchise’s animated series. “Nothing hammers this idea home better than the first episode of the animated series (one of the greatest episodes of anything, ever) when Ash is willing to sacrifice himself to save Pikachu.”
As Palworld is still in its early access version, many players are eager to see how the game develops in its further updates. While some hope for glitch hotfixes and expansions, gamers like Sellyn may still hope for more features that could increase the game’s “warmth.”
Sellyn’s comparison is indeed a concern for those who grew up playing and watching Pokemon. But Palworld’s sandbox-inclined features and its different approach to Pals and companions may be what sets the two games often compared apart from each other.