Palworld dev CEO jokes server fees could bankrupt the studio after it spends $478,000 to "never let the service go down no matter what"

(Image credit: Pocketpair)

Palworld is a very, very expensive game to maintain on the server side, according to Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizobe, who joked recently that the monthly expense to keep the servers running could bankrupt the company.

In a tweet, Mizobe shared an image of what appears to be the rapidly rising cost of Palworld server maintenance, adding via Google Translate: "Wait, maybe they'll go bankrupt due to server fees?"

In a reply written in English, Palworld lead network engineer Chujo Hiroto said: "Following the order to never let the service go down no matter what, we have prepared servers without regard to cost. We will continue to give our all to ensure that all players can enjoy to the fullest! $478,000..."

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Assuming that's the monthly cost of running Palworld's servers – and the image Mizobe posted indicates costs "this month," which are up 359% – that would equal out to almost $6 million USD per year. Although that amount is likely to fluctuate each month with the migration of players, it does give you a very rough figure. As someone who's never launched an online game to unprecedented success, I'm not sure how to put that number into context, but both Mizobe and Hiroto are suggesting it is indeed as high as it looks on paper.

Although it's a staggering number to consider, it shouldn't be a huge surprise that Palworld is costing developer Pocketpair a pretty penny. Within mere weeks from launch, it passed Cyberpunk 2077, Hogwarts Legacy, and Elden Ring to become the biggest Steam launch in history, and it's quickly encroaching on PUBG's world record for highest concurrent player count. The latest stats added in figures from its Xbox launch and revealed that it reached 19 million players in just two weeks, becoming the biggest third-party Xbox Game Pass launch ever.

Despite some early hiccups as the servers struggled to support an unexpectedly massive launch, Palworld's servers have largely held steady in the weeks since launch. Apparently, that's thanks to a directive from Pocketpair to maintain server stability without consideration for the expense.

Going forward, Microsoft has said it'll provide support to Pocketpair "to enable dedicated servers" on the Xbox version of the game. As of now, you can join Pocketpair's official servers, host your own, join a friend's, with the option of making a dedicated server on PC via Steam's toolkit. 

Here's why GR's Sam Loveridge wishes Palworld, often called Pokemon with Guns, didn't have any guns.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.