clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nintendo blocks all previews of Palworld’s unofficial Pokémon mod

YouTuber ToastedShoes teased a video of it, but Nintendo shut him down

An image of Torchic, Pikachu, and Wooloo looking down at the camera in a mod for Palworld. Image: ToastedShoes/X
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

It’s looking like Nintendo has saved Pikachu from a life in the mines.

Nintendo issued a DMCA takedown to the creator of a viral Palworld Pokémon mod on Tuesday, its creator said. The developer behind the mod, a YouTuber who goes by the name ToastedShoes, shared a video teasing the mod via X on Monday. Nintendo had the video taken down by Tuesday. “Nintendo has come for me, please leave me in your thoughts and prayers,” ToastedShoes said via X.

Developer Pocketpair released Palworld, a game where players can collect Pokémon-like creatures and put them to work, on Friday. It’s been less than a week since release, but the game has already become a hit, with more than 1.5 million concurrent players on Steam. On Monday, ToastedShoes took the Pokémon comparisons to a new level with a mod that adds actual Pokémon to the game.

Palworld is an open-world, multiplayer adventure where you hunt and work to survive. Throughout your journey, you can capture adorable creatures called Pals. Palworld is not a Pokémon game, but it’s been compared to the beloved series for the way it allows players to capture cute creatures and use them to fight. Other than that, its gameplay is very different from an actual Pokémon game: Palworld contains a blend of elements from a variety of genres, like open-world RPGs and survival games.

Two grass monkeys named Tanzee in Palworld holding machine guns.
Image: Pocketpair

The original video shared on X was quickly removed, but ToastedShoes continued to host a preview clip of the mod on their YouTube channel. That video was also blocked by Nintendo on copyright grounds. The creator also said he wants to release the mod to the public for free, but that he and his team plan to “tread lightly,” given that Nintendo issued a DMCA to the first video.

From the clip ToastedShoes shared, the mod would allow players to capture beloved creatures like Pikachu and Torchic and put them to work in brutal conditions. The deleted video described it as an “overhaul” that converts “everything” into Pokémon. The short clip showed Ash hunting a Torterra and fighting an Electabuzz. Brock and Misty are in there too, and Misty wields a gun.

Palworld does not have mod support at time of publication, but the developers said in a Steam FAQ that the team plans to add it as part of a future update. If the mod does get published, it could be hard to download. A representative of Nexus Mods, a popular site that hosts many popular game mods, expressed apprehension over whether the site would host the Pokémon mod. In a statement to PCGamesN, community lead Mathew Elliott said, “We do think that adding Pokémon content to Palworld is a very cool idea and we understand why people would want such a thing. However, we’re not comfortable hosting this content.”

Nintendo has a history of litigating copyright infringement and taking action against mod creators. Nintendo’s lawyers will likely have the mod taken down quickly if it ever does get formally published on a site, just like it did for the video showing it. So your dream of putting Pikachu to work in the mines might have to be put on hold.

Update: This article has been updated to include additional information on the mod, and to note that ToastedShoes’ original clip of the mod was taken down from X.

Update (Jan. 24): This article was updated to include Nexus Mods’ response to the Palworld Pokémon mod, and the removal of the mod preview from YouTube.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.