Mere hours after the official launch of Palworld, modder and YouTuber Toasted Shoes showed footage of a new mod he’d created that brought Nintendo’s Pokémon and famous characters like Ash to the game. The links between Palworld and Pokémon were already totally obvious (even before its release, the media and fans had dubbed it ‘Pokémon with guns’), and so the mod was an inevitable – but surprisingly quick – outcome. Still, it didn’t survive long, and Palworld developer Pocket Pair worked swiftly to ensure that the mod was taken down.
Case closed; end of story, right? Wrong. Now, the determined Toasted Shoes is back with another mod for Palworld, aiming once again to effectively turn it into one of the best Pokémon games through a new and “legally distinct” mod. What does that mean, precisely? Well, rather than outright using Pokémon from the official Pokédex, the new mod features “some amazing pocket sized creatures, such as Yellow Rat,” that Toasted Shoes promises aren’t “based on any intellectual property owned by a certain corporation from Japan.”
Hmm. Seems suspicious to us. Clearly, Toasted Shoes is using the furor around Palworld’s similarity to Pokémon to tap into an engaged and eager fanbase with his mods. Either that, or he’s specifically trying to invite the attention of Nintendo’s legal team. It is, admittedly, all pretty funny, even as the notorious Palworld discourse dies down. This is the kind of mischievous audacity and determination shown by Team Rocket, so if Toasted Shoes is auditioning for a slot on the team, he’s going about it the right way.
Speaking personally, we’re happy to let Palworld be Palword and stick to waiting for the official new Pokémon game to come out. With Pokémon Day coming up in a few weeks, and the potential announcement of the Switch 2, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before we learn more about the exciting future of the franchise.