What you need to know
The not-Pokémon game with guns, Palworld, has been released on Xbox Game Pass and Steam in early access.
The game is shattering the wildest expectations by selling 1 million copies in just 8 hours.
With 370k+ concurrent players, Palworld has hit one of the top 25 All-Time Peaks for a game on Steam.
On the heels of the excellent Xbox Developer Direct yesterday, the world is on fire today with the buzz around the newest game on the block, Palworld. Not sure what Palworld is, or have questions about the game? Check out our excellent Palworld FAQ to learn more about the sensation rocking gamers worldwide.
I will add that I could load up Palworld on my ASUS ROG Ally, create a world and a character, and then load up that same world on my Xbox seamlessly. So, while there doesn't appear to be cross-progression between Steam and Xbox, Xbox and the Windows version of the game through Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass seem to be working great.
Is Palworld a good game?
Word of mouth and streamer influence seem to be working wonders for Palworld. It also helps that there aren't a ton of games coming out right now. But 1 million sales in 8 hours is a great start for the game. Check out the tweet from the Palworld X account.
I have had the opportunity to watch a few hours of live streams of influencers playing the game. The game looks great and is much more Ark: Survival Evolved than Pokémon. I also enjoy the several references to Zelda Breath of the Wild, but sometimes, we only want a well-put-together game with great systems and fun mechanics.
I plan on sinking some time into the game tonight and can't wait to build a base and catch as many Pals as possible.
@BenjiSales on X also mentioned that the game has hit the top 25 all-time peaks for a game on Steam for concurrent players, which is outstanding for a smaller game like this.
Can we end the narrative that Game Pass hurts game sales now?
The glaring truth that the success of Palworld is revealing to me is that Game Pass is an entry point into the market and not a substitute for Steam or purchasing games. It is possible that if Palworld were a $70 game, there would have been fewer sales and more people playing it on Game Pass, but gamers are obviously still incentivized to play games on Steam.
It is also worth mentioning that players might purchase the game on Steam because there isn't currently an option to cross-play or have cross-progression with Steam and Xbox or Steam and the Windows version of the game (plus other limits with online play). This could have caused some players to purchase the game on Steam since that is where most players are, and they can play multiplayer with more of their friends.
That all being said, I think the recent success of Starfield on the Steam charts for 2023, as well as the great sales of Forza Horizon 5 and even MLB The Show, should end the narrative that Game Pass hurts game sales.
Are you excited to play Palworld? Are you going to pick up the game on Steam or Game Pass? Let us know in the comments.