Palworld team strikes deal with Sony that could lead to an anime

Three Palworld characters fly on Pals in Palworld
Image: Pocketpair

‘For the purpose of accelerating the multifaceted global development of Palworld and its further expansion’

Palworld developer Pocketpair announced Palworld Entertainment on Tuesday, a brand new company created with Sony Music Entertainment and its anime subsidiary Aniplex. Palworld Entertainment was created “for the purpose of accelerating the multifaceted global development of Palworld and its further expansion,” according to a post from the official Palworld X account.

On the Palworld Entertainment website, the company is described as being in charge of “domestic and international licensing” for Palworld and to expand its intellectual property. Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizobe will lead the new company, too. The first initiative is to launch new merch that’ll be sold on the Aniplex website, per a news release.

Before we get into what this deal could lead to, let’s talk about what this deal is not: It doesn’t necessarily mean Palworld is immediately coming to PlayStation consoles. A Palworld community manager teased something with PlayStation back in June, a post on X that many interpreted as meaning Palworld would come to PlayStation consoles. While it’s likely Palworld will come to PlayStation 5, it’s not part of this announcement or partnership.

What we do know is that Palworld Entertainment will bring new merch to market, but what’s left out is what an expansion of its IP could look like. Despite the name, Sony Music Entertainment doesn’t only do music. It also owns Aniplex (named as part of the joint venture), a Japanese entertainment and media company that specializes in anime. Aniplex has produced tons of popular anime, including Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Cells at Work!, and Fullmetal Alchemist. It also owns anime distribution platform Crunchyroll alongside Sony Pictures Entertainment and publishes video games like free-to-play mobile game Fate/Grand Order.

Does this mean Palworld could be made into an anime show or movie? Maybe! Aniplex has experience bringing games to anime: It’s produced anime based off Persona, Fate/Grand Order, and Ace Attorney, among others. Polygon has reached out to Pocketpair for more information.

Palworld has struggled to shake off the Pokémon comparisons — it’s often described as “Pokémon with guns” — and this sort of deal will likely take the similarities further. The Pokémon Company has had wild success with Pokémon as a global franchise beyond games: Everyone knows Pikachu. But who wouldn’t want their brand to follow that sort of path? Very few brands have been able to rival Pokémon at all, and if anyone is poised to do it, it may as well be Palworld: Palworld sold a staggering 25 million copies across platforms by February, just one month after its release. Pocketpair hasn’t released any sales numbers since then, but the game has sustained success — especially after its most recent update, which launched last week.

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