The Unusual Art Style That Helped Palworld Captivate 25 Million Players – Read All Insights from Recent Pocketpair’s CEO Takuro Mizobe Interview


Released in January 2024 by the small indie studio Pocketpair, Palworld racked up over 25 million players in just its first month, making it one of the fastest debuts in gaming history.

Its viral success caught everyone by surprise, including Pocketpair’s CEO Takuro Mizobe.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Mizobe shared some interacting facts about Palworld’s success and his future plans. Let’s dive in.

10X More Profit than Bugdet

In the interview, Mizobe revealed that Palworld had a budget of around $6.7 million, big for the indie developer but relatively small compared to other big-budget games like Spider-Man 2 ($315 million) and the upcoming GTA 6 (over $1 billion).

What’s even more impressive is that this budget included marketing costs, making Palworld’s success even more remarkable.

Mizobe confirmed that Palworld has already made tens of billions of yen (approximately $60+ million) in profit, a staggering amount for a game with such a modest budget.

However, he also admitted that his studio was not prepared for such a large influx of money, and it would be challenging to put it to good use.

What Makes Palworld So Unique and Appealing?

While Pokémon is undoubtedly an inspiration for Palworld, Mizobe credits the game’s design to ideas borrowed from various titles, including ARK: Survival Evolved, Factorio, and RimWorld.

One of the unique features that sets Palworld apart is the presence of dead “Pal” bodies that remain in the game after defeating them.

According to Mizobe, his colleagues were initially against leaving useless bodies in the game, but he insisted on it because he believed players would find a way to engage with and discuss it.

This unconventional decision, combined with the game’s unique art style, which blends anime-inspired creature assets with a more faux-photorealistic style from the Unreal Engine, has contributed to Palworld’s distinctive appeal.

The Importance of Multiplayer and Social Interaction

Mizobe believes that the multiplayer mode is important in today’s world for gaming success stating,

“Games are most fun when playing with friends. A game without a multiplayer mode just doesn’t feel right in the era we live today.”

Palworld supports co-op multiplayer for up to 4 players, allowing friends to join each other’s worlds, team up against enemies, defend bases and trade Pals.

Additionally, there’s a dedicated server option that enables hosting up to 32 players in multiplayer sessions.

While PvP is not currently available, the developers are testing PvP functionality with plans to implement it in a future update.

This commitment to expanding multiplayer options promises to further enhance the already thrilling Palworld experience

Keeping the Studio Small and Focused on Innovation

Despite Palworld’s meteoric rise, Mizobe expressed a desire to maintain Pocketpair’s indie roots.

“I want to make multiple small games. Big-budget triple-A games are not for us,” he stated.

Currently, Pocketpair has only 55 people, and Mizobe wants to take it slow to add new to it.

According to Mizobe, it’s easier to experiment with new ideas at a smaller studio rather than at a big multi-billionaire company.

While the studio is open to entertaining offers for potential acquisitions or partnerships, Mizobe confirmed that Microsoft will not be acquiring the studio anytime soon.

Is PS5 Port Coming?

While reaffirming Pocketpair’s commitment to remaining a small studio, Mizobe revealed that talks are underway to bring the RPG game to other platforms, strongly hinting at a potential Palworld PS5 launch.

Future Content

Additionally, the studio has teased “Bellanoir,” the game’s first raid, which will feature a powerful evil Pal that lays siege to the Palpagos Islands.

To help facilitate future updates like these, Palworld’s developer has called for players to participate in bug hunting, allowing for faster and smoother content rollouts.

A Breath of Fresh Air in the Gaming Industry

Palworld’s unexpected success has been a breath of fresh air in the gaming industry, proving that innovative and unique experiences can captivate players on a massive scale, even with a relatively modest budget.

The struggling industry eagerly awaits more surprise hits like Palworld and Helldivers 2 this year, as many AAA titles are postponed for next year.

According to Mat Piscatella from Circana industry needs one more big hit like these otherwise gaming revenue will fall to 2 to 10% in 2024.

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