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Steam has a new hit game, and it’s Pokémon with guns

A giant pal uses a minigun in Palworld.

Steam’s latest viral hit is Pocketpair’s Palworld, a game that the internet has deemed Pokémon with guns.

Palworld is an open-world survival crafting game that layers a “Pal” creature collecting system clearly influenced by Pokémon on top of all that. It launched into early access on PC and Xbox Game Preview on Xbox Series X/S today, and it’s clearly already a massive hit on Valve’s PC storefront and launcher.

The Steam version of Palworld peaked at over 370,000 concurrent players, according to data from SteamDB, with Pocketpair saying it has already sold 1 million copies. These are the biggest numbers we’ve seen on an unexpectedly viral game launch since the likes of Dave the Diver and Baldur’s Gate 3 in 2023. Xbox sales, as well as Game Pass players across PC and Xbox, also aren’t accounted for by SteamDB’s statistic, so it’s likely that the true number of concurrent players is even higher than what SteamDB shows.

Three sheep-like Pals use guns in Palworld.

It remains to be seen if this virality is just a flash in the pan or ensures Palworld a lasting legacy. It’s already in hot water for allegedly stealing some fan-made Pokémon designs. Palworld sitting at a “Very Positive” aggregate rating on Steam with nearly 3,000 reviews.

Palworld is now available in early access across PC and Xbox Series X/S; it was a day one Xbox Game Pass release too, so you don’t even have to pay the $27 price tag to try it out. Pocketpair’s current plan is to keep Palworld in early access “for at least one year,” according to the game’s Steam page, although the company says that “depending on the progress of development, we may consider extending early access, or if we are satisfied with the state of the game, officially releasing the game.”

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Tomas Franzese
Gaming Staff Writer
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
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