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Palworld: Pokémon, Guns, and a Blue Ocean of Surprises

Ahoy, fellow gamers! Prepare yourselves for a tale that will make your eyebrows arch and your controllers tremble. It seems that there's a hidden worl...

M. Moon

Jan 21, 2024

Palworld: Pokémon, Guns, and a Blue Ocean of Surprises

Ahoy, fellow gamers! Prepare yourselves for a tale that will make your eyebrows arch and your controllers tremble. It seems that there's a hidden world, a blue ocean of untapped potential, where Pokémon and guns collide in a glorious symphony of chaos. That's right, my friends, Palworld has burst onto the scene, selling like hotcakes and making waves faster than you can say "Pikachu with a bazooka."

Former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata once spoke of a "blue ocean" strategy with the Nintendo Wii, aiming to reach beyond the confines of the traditional gaming realm. Little did he know that there exists a legion of people yearning for Pokémon adventures armed to the teeth. Palworld, the survival-crafting wonder that it is, has captured the hearts of gamers worldwide, and its success is spreading like wildfire.

Just three days after its launch, Palworld has skyrocketed to become the fifth most-played game in Steam's history by concurrent players. Imagine that! It's trailing closely behind giants like Dota 2, and even recent blockbusters like Hogwarts Legacy or the highly anticipated Baldur's Gate 3 and Elden Ring are left in the dust. The game's popularity is nothing short of astonishing, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

But hold your Poké Balls, trainers! This is just the beginning. Palworld has only just set sail on the early access voyage, and history tells us that many Steam games reach their peak player count on the second or third weekend after release. The question lingers on everyone's lips: Will Palworld continue its meteoric rise, or will it encounter choppy waters ahead?

While we ponder that, let's talk sales. Oh, the money they're raking in at Pocketpair, the developer and publisher of Palworld. The game has already sold over 4 million copies, leaving even the most esteemed titles green with envy. To put things into perspective, the beloved cult classic NieR: Automata took six years to reach 7.5 million copies sold, and even Cyberpunk 2077's acclaimed expansion, Phantom Liberty, just crossed the 5 million mark this month. Palworld has achieved a feat that can only be described as mind-boggling.

Now, let's not paint a picture of perfection just yet. Even though Palworld has captured the hearts of millions, our own early access hands-on left us with mixed feelings. PC Gamer contributor Lincoln Carpenter discovered that the survival crafting gameplay had its fair share of intriguing ideas that could use some fine-tuning. However, the shock humor shtick, like Bugs Bunny smoking weed, wore thin rather quickly. It was as if Bugs Bunny had become a one-trick pony, and spending hours with such a character lost its initial appeal.

Nevertheless, Palworld's main competition lies in the realm of full-3D open-world Pokémon adventures, and let's just say those other games are showing signs of wear and tear. I have a friend, a dedicated Pokémon Sardaukar, who grits his teeth and buys each new game at full price, only to later lament how much he despises it. Palworld and last year's Cassette Beasts are shining examples of the people's desire for superior Pokémon-like experiences.

So, my fellow gamers, unite! Embrace the madness, the guns, and the Pokémon that defy convention. Palworld has arrived, making a splash in the vast blue ocean of gaming possibilities. Prepare yourselves for a journey like no other, where the lines between reality and absurdity blur, and where Pikachu might just be your best ally in a firefight. The tides have turned, and Palworld reigns supreme. Let the adventure begin!

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