Homage vs Rip-Off

Yeah I knew this would come up eventually…

I’ve touched on thos topic before but with the recent controversy surrounding the indie title ‘Palworld’ I thought it might be best to speak about this once more.

Specifically with Palworld people are stating that the game is problematic due to it very clearly being based on Pokemon, and in fact many are saying that some of the models are outright stolen from more recent titles in the Pokemon franchise. This is of course a serious accusation and should be investigated properly however I wanted to touch upon the issue of the game ‘stealing’ Pokemon’s idea.

Something I’ve seen a lot of over the years are games that try to be Pokemon such as Coromon or Temtem. These are absolutely Pokemon-inspired games and they wholeheartedly take whole systems from that franchise and put their own spin on it. Palworld is exactly the same, though I would actually say it does a huge amount different from the original franchise and as such I would see it as an inspiration rather than a rip-off. It’s a fine line to balance but a good way I see to look at it is to look at the many souls-like games, such as the recently released Lies of P.

Lies of P is a game that wears its FromSoft inspiration directly on its front cover. Bonfires, Estus Flasks, UI it’s all taken directly from these titles with a splash of Bloodborn thrown in for setting. Nobody accuses these games of being rip-offs as they just use the original foundation of the Souls franchise and make their own spin on it. Nobody ‘owns’ the idea of a Souls-like game, it’s just a genre. Therefore something like Palworld is better to be classified as a ‘Creature Capture and Battle’ game rather than a Pokemon rip-off. Besides, Pokemon stole their idea from Dragon Quest anyway…

However, what do you all think? Do you find Palworld and other similar games to just be cheap knock-offs or is t better to classify them within genres instead? Share your thoughts in the comments! That’s all for now, and as always. It’s not just a game, It’s a Life.

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