Palworld is the biggest third-party Xbox Game Pass launch ever, with over 7 million players on Xbox so far

 Palworld Polymer screenshot.
Palworld Polymer screenshot.

What you need to know

  • Early access survival game Palworld is continuing to blow up, reaching over 7 million players on Xbox so far.

  • This makes Palworld the biggest third-party Xbox Game Pass launch of all time, displacing the former record holder, High on Life.

  • Palworld has also sold over 12 million copies on Steam so far.

One month into 2024, Pals with guns are extremely popular.

Pocketpair's early access survival game Palworld is now the biggest third-party Xbox Game Pass launch of all time, as shared by Xbox Wire on Wednesday. Palworld has been played by 7 million players across the Xbox ecosystem, which includes Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles, as well as PC Game Pass. Palworld also reached daily peaks of almost 3 million players on Xbox, being the most-played game in the ecosystem at that time.

"The response from fans has been tremendous and it’s incredible to see the millions of players around the world enjoying Palworld. This is just the beginning for us and Palworld, and the feedback we’re gathering while in Game Preview will allow us to continue to improve the experience for Pal Tamers across all platforms,” says Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizobe.

This also means that Palworld has displaced Squanch Games' first-person shooter High on Life, the previous record holder for the biggest third-party Xbox Game Pass launch. While a number was not given at the time, we're told that High on Life had "millions" of players on Xbox as of Dec. 20, 2022.

Palworld is a huge hit, with a roadmap of updates

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Outside of Xbox Game Pass, Palworld has sold over 12 million copies on Steam, further cementing it as one of the biggest hits of 2024 so far. The year is young, but developer and publisher Pocketpair shared a roadmap of updates and new features that the team is working on, including a large number of bug fixes, raid bosses, and cross-play support.

"On Xbox’s part, we’re working with Pocketpair to help provide support for Xbox versions of the game," writes Joe Skrebels, editor-in-chief of Xbox Wire. "We’re providing support to enable dedicated servers, offering engineering resources to help with GPU and memory optimization, speeding up the process to make Palworld updates available for players, and working with the team to optimize the title for our platform."

Analysis: Huge momentum, and support will be key

It's safe to say the immediate success of Palworld is locked in, and the team at Pocketpair has a mountain of potential in front of them. The question will be how regularly the team can update this game, addressing key areas of feedback such as the plentiful bugs and features like cross-play or dedicated servers.

Some sales analyst friends of mine believe that Palworld has a shot at being the best-selling game of the year. While nothing is ever truly certain, this news definitely reinforces Pocketpair's chances of attaining that feat for 2024.