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The One Morbid Rule Palworld's Creator Had For Pals

"Palworld" has lost a huge chunk of its playerbase since the game's debut in January. That's to be expected, as basically every game sees a sharp decline in active players shortly after a much-hyped release. When you peak at more than 2 million concurrent players, you can lose 70% of players and still be dominating the gaming world. Even if "Palworld" never reaches those heights again, "Palworld" developer Pocketpair is just getting started, and the team has its eye on every little detail.

Pocketpair is experiencing a basically unprecedented explosion of attention and popularity, particularly for a studio of its size, and studio CEO Takuro Mizobe has been guiding "Palworld" since its creation. In a recent interview, Mizobe opened up about some of the ideas he laid out as the foundation for "Palworld" when Pocketpair was just starting to work on the game. One particularly bizarre concept might just have been a key ingredient in its wild success, and could give us an idea of Pocketpair's style going forward.

Have you ever wondered why fallen Pals just stay where they are for a long time?

The morbid rule about dead Pals

Speaking with Bloomberg, Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizobe explained one small detail that he fixated on while developing "Palworld." According to Mizobe, "Typically, when you kill monsters or enemies [in other games], they either disappear or linger to be looted." He wanted to make sure that didn't happen in "Palworld." Mizobe's co-workers tried to push back on his idea. The bodies weren't just an aesthetic concern. Games usually de-spawn useless, fallen enemies because leaving them on the ground is resource intensive. The other devs were thinking about the game's memory, while Mizobe was focused on what the players would be experiencing. In the end, Mizobe said, "I pushed it through because I thought players would find a way to play with and talk about it."

When a Pal dies in "Palworld," it's body remains on the ground — not forever, but for way longer than it would in any other game. The bodies don't really do anything, but the few ways they can be interacted with — via looting or, say, eating – are pretty morbid. Do the corpses add an element of immersive realism into the game? Technically, yes. Do they make the entire "Palworld" experience way more disturbing? Also yes. Are they the key to the game's meteoric rise to fame? Well, they might have had more of an impact than you think.

Creeping to the top, one dead Pal at a time

Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizobe imagined that leaving Pal bodies on the ground would give players something to talk about. It turns out that he really had his finger on the pulse of gamers everywhere. The bodies of "Palworld" have definitely been a source of discussion. For instance, clips of quietly disturbing moments — like Pals picking through corpses for a meal — have garnered quite a bit of attention online.

Naturally, players have also tried to find new ways to interact with the bodies, with some of them even stumbling on different ways to bring back the dead.

Mizobe's idea also worked out in more mundane ways. Some early players started posting about the game just because they were trying to figure out how to make all the bodies go away. That didn't lead to any deep discussions, but it did bring more engagement with a brand-new IP.

Keeping Palworld small, but memorable

Elsewhere in the chat with Bloomberg, Takuro Mizobe shed some light on how Pocketpair is dealing with its sudden success. The developer only has 55 employees, and they were not quite prepared for how "Palworld" took off. Mizobe said that the amount of money the studio has made from "Palworld" has been genuinely difficult for the group to handle.

Despite that, Pocketpair isn't looking to cash out. The company isn't going public, and Mizobe's not interested in scaling up Pocketpair's future projects. "I want to make multiple small games," he said, adding, "Big-budget triple-A games are not for us." To be fair, "Palworld" is small-budget but by no means is it a small game. Mizobe said he feels like lower budget multiplayer games (with big imaginations) are what the industry needs right now. And based on what we know about him, whatever Pocketpair's next project is, it will have a hint of the macabre.

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