Recently, a popular game called “Palworld” has appeared on the world’s largest gaming platform, Steam. It was launched on January 19th and sold over 7 million copies in just five days, with a peak concurrent player count of 2 million. Considering its low price of 15.9 US dollars, it has generated sales revenue exceeding 100 million dollars. In terms of concurrent players alone, it has already become the second-highest in Steam’s history. Furthermore, this is just the achievement within the first five days, and it is very likely to surpass the record of 3 million concurrent players set by the top-ranked game “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.”
Why is this game so popular?
First and foremost, luck plays a crucial role. “Luck is a decisive factor in achieving tremendous wealth,” a conclusion that many people overlook. Successful individuals tend to attribute their success to their own efforts or certain qualities, which gives them peace of mind. Those who haven’t achieved success are more eager to find the rules of success and imitate them.
Another element contributing to the success of this game is the diversity of gameplay and its allusions to reality. “Palworld” is an open-world game where players can survive, explore, battle, farm, gather resources, and build, with the core mechanic being capturing pets called Pals for assistance. However, it is more like enslaving them in batches to make them mine, construct, or serve as cannon fodder.
Players worldwide have summarized several game principles for “Palworld”:
Pals are abundant on the continent, so if you don’t want to work, there are plenty of Pals who will.
The cost of a Pal is one Pal ore, three pieces of wood, and three pieces of stone. If a Pal’s output doesn’t exceed ten times its cost, its workload needs to be increased.
It is more profitable to sell Pals instead of spending a large amount of resources to heal them.
If you don’t want to travel far to sell Pals, you can disassemble them and feed their meat to new Pals working for you.
When breeding Pals, there is no need to consider race, level, or attributes. As long as you keep breeding, you will eventually hatch a high-quality one and make a profit.
Pals don’t require luxurious living conditions or food; they just need a grass bed to sleep on and berries to eat. If they become moody, then sell them.
Pals can also fight alongside players, but they are cannon fodder and can be launched from a cannon to kill enemies.
From the gameplay, one can see the influence of games like “Monster Hunter,” “ARK: Survival Evolved,” “Minecraft,” as well as elements reminiscent of “The Legend of Zelda” and “Genshin Impact” during combat and exploration, and the pet designs have similarities to “Pokémon.”
The player reviews of this game are very positive from a statistical perspective. At the time of writing, out of 93,000 ratings, 94% of people gave it a positive review. However, the game industry’s evaluations are not as high and can be broadly divided into two categories: the first considers it a copycat game, and the second suggests joining if you can’t beat them. Both of these evaluations are related to AI content generation.
What is the accusation of being a copycat about?
In general, this game provides players with 80% of the graphics, 200% of the gameplay, and 500% of the content of a AAA blockbuster game, all at approximately one-tenth of the cost. Games that achieve this level of sales and concurrent players are typically typical AAA titles such as “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” “Grand Theft Auto V,” and “Cyberpunk 2077.” The production and promotion costs of these games start at around 100 million US dollars, with the entire game development team consisting of 300-500 people working continuously for several years to achieve such results. In contrast, the development team of “Palworld” initially consisted of only 4 people, and it has only increased to 40 people until today, which is highly unusual.
The game’s weapon designer is only 20 years old and is not an industry prodigy. Prior to joining this company, he worked as a salesperson in a convenience store in Hokkaido, with only a junior high school education. He has always been passionate about games and manga, and he self-taught animation through online tutorials. After the company noticed a series of ammunition loading animations he posted online, they recruited him to work in Tokyo atthe age of 19. The accusation of being a copycat arises from the remarkable similarities between “Palworld” and other well-known games, both in terms of gameplay mechanics and visual design.
In conclusion, “Palworld” has gained immense popularity due to a combination of luck, diverse gameplay, and references to other successful games. While it receives positive reviews from players, the game industry has raised concerns about its similarities to existing games and the involvement of AI in content generation. Nonetheless, its success and sales figures are undeniably impressive, especially considering the small development team and comparatively low production costs.
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