Palworld makes another play for Pokemon's crown with an anime and merch-focused partnership with Sony - despite the lack of a PS5 version of the hit survival game

Pal wields a massive turret in a screenshot from Palworld
(Image credit: Pocketpair)

Palworld is further eyeing Pokemon's crown thanks to a partnership with Sony designed to expand the survival game into a far larger franchise.

In a press release this morning, Sony Music and subsidiary Aniplex announced a joint venture with Palworld developer Pocketpair "to expand and develop new businesses associated with the hit game."

Outlining the game's success, which saw it reach 25 million players in its first month and embed itself as the second most-played game in Steam history by concurrent players, the release goes on to explain the partnership. The venture will aim to "develop the reach" of the Palworld IP, looking for license and merchandise the game around the world.

Merch will be the joint venture's first aim, with its first items debuting at the Bilibili World 2024 conference in Shanghai this week. Beyond that, the group's other main aims are the "planning and production of video and music works," with a focus on animation, as well as "planning and development of games, related licenses, product planning and sales, and entertainment."

That sounds as though Sony and Pocketpair are laying the groundwork for a potential Palworld animated series, as well as further developments of the game as its own series. Given the comparison between Palworld and Pokemon, that does seem like a no-brainer, though Pocketpair will have some serious catching-up to do given the 1200+ Pokemon episodes that have aired over the past 27 years. 

It's also interesting to note that this is a partnership with Sony. While Pocketpair is dealing with Sony Music rather than Sony Interactive Entertainment (the section of the company responsible for all the best PS5 games), it's worth remembering that Palworld isn't currently available on PS5. Last month, Pocketpair said it was "still discussing" bringing its smash hit to Sony's platform, but we've had no official word on that yet. With the two companies working more closely together thanks to this partnership, however, maybe Palworld on PS5 is closer than we think.

Palworld dev begs fans not to argue about player counts as the survival game gets a boost from the Sakurajima update: "Palworld had 2mil, then it had 15k, now it has 140k."

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.