Opinions vary on the all-new Palworld, which has already sold millions of copies for Xbox and PC in just a few days. Some think it’s a fun, adult-oriented take on an iconic game. Others (especially executives at Nintendo) consider it nothing more than a blatant ripoff that turns a celebration of collecting, love, and friendship into a shooter that promotes gun violence and hard labor. Either/or! But no matter how you feel about Pocket Pair’s open-world adventure no one can deny it’s obviously based on Pokémon. Many of Palworld‘s creatures are clearly off-brand versions of the ones found in the Battle Arena. What would it be like to actually see the originals engage in bloody combat, though? A fan mod that puts actual Pokémon in Palworld wants to let you see, but you probably won’t get to learn what it’s like firsthand.

Online creator and YouTuber Toasted Shoes gave fans of fictional animals fighting one another the crossover they wanted by putting actual Pokémon into Palworld. His modification replaces Palworld‘s player character with Ash Ketchum, who then runs around the open-world map encountering the very same creatures he knows from his own game. We’d invite you to check it out, but it looks like Nintendo has blocked it on copyright grounds.

For those who didn’t get to see the video in action, it contained lots of familiar faces for Ash to find in this mashup world of Pals. As Twitter user Cecilia Fae documented, there are many Pokémon knockoffs in Pocket Pair’s survival game. Some are really direct, while others are only slightly less obvious.

The key word in many of these is “slightly.”

Many will consider this just a fun fan mod. Nintendo disagrees! The company enforced a copyright claim on the original tweet sharing the video and now the full video is down as well. That could keep the modification from ever reaching gamers despite its creator’s desire to release it for free. Because while Toasted Shoes went ahead with posting the video to YouTube, he also told IGN he will fully comply with any future copyright requests from Nintendo. You know, the global company who can afford the best attorneys around. Yeah, that Nintendo.

Additionally, mods aside, The Pokémon Company has released a statement noting that it is looking into the Palworld game as a whole. It shares in a release:

We have received many inquiries regarding another company’s game released in January 2024. We have not granted any permission for the use of Pokémon intellectual property or assets in that game. We intend to investigate and take appropriate measures to address any acts that infringe on intellectual property rights related to the Pokémon. We will continue to cherish and nurture each and every Pokémon and its world, and work to bring the world together through Pokémon in the future.

Ask Ketchum with Pikachu on his shoulder split with an image of Palworld creatures dominated by a big Pikachu yellow knockoff creature
The Pokémon Company/Pocket Pair

For now, we’ll have to wait and see what happens. Should Pokémon and Palworld fans get to combine both games? Opinions probably vary… everywhere but in Nintendo offices.

Originally published on January 23, 2024.