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Palworld becomes Xbox Game Pass' biggest third-party launch with 7 million players

It may not have the full scope of its Steam equivalent, but Palworld's Xbox version is making an impression with Game Pass players.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

January 31, 2024

2 Min Read
A monkey with a gun in Pocketpair's Palworld.
Image via Pocketpair.

At a Glance

  • Game Pass players are making Palworld into the service's biggest and most popular game since High on Life in 2022.

In the week and a half since its launch, Palworld has hit 19 million players worldwide across PC and Xbox.

Most of that belongs to the PC base, but 7 million Xbox players have made the game into Game Pass' biggest third-party launch ever. It's also Xbox Cloud Gaming's most-played third-party launch.

Xbox doesn't always tout a third-party title's Game Pass performance. The last time it did so was Squanch Games' High on Life, the service's then-most popular title in 2022.

But Palworld is apparently worth the bragging. According to Xbox, the Early Access survival game peaks at nearly 3 million players per day across Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC (via Game Pass).

It's even more interesting to note, considering Palworld on Xbox servers limits the number of players to four. Steam, by comparison, has 32-player servers, and it's unclear when (or if) the console version will reach parity.

"It's incredible to see the millions of players around the world enjoying Palworld," said Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizobe. He added the game's reception will "[help us] continue to improve the experience for Pal Tamers across all platforms.” 

Palworld has only been out for ten days and sold 8 million copies on Steam in under a week. At the time of writing, it has amassed 12 million sales on Valve's storefront.

Eventually, its popularity reached the ears of Nintendo, who co-own the Pokemon series claimed by many to be Palworld's source of inspiration. The company says they are aware of the game's existence and have not given permission for their assets or IP to be used in the shooter.

No one knows for sure if Pocketpair actually took assets from any Pokemon game. However, Nintendo has said they are still investigating and will take appropriate measures if a theft has occurred.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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