The “Pokemon with guns” game Palworld is set to see improvements for the Game Pass version. Microsoft has announced that it will work with developer Pocketpair to “provide support” for the Game Pass versions of Palworld. But what does that mean?
Microsoft said it will help Pocketpair in enabling dedicated servers–a feature found in the Steam edition but not on Game Pass currently–as well as through offering “engineering resources” to help Pocketpair conduct optimization for GPU and memory. Additionally, Microsoft said it will work with Pocketpair to increase the speed of update releases to the game, and in general working alongside the studio to “optimize” Palworld for Game Pass.
As we reported previously, the Game Pass version of Palworld isn’t the same as the Steam version, as is only has support for 2-4 players, no dedicated servers, and bugs and issues that are not apparent in the Steam version. Pocketpair has said Palworld for Steam and Game Pass are to be understood as two different versions of the game, at least until dedicated servers come to console.
It’s no big surprise that Microsoft would seek to assist Pocketpair in this way, as Palworld is now the most-played third-party day-one launch in Xbox Game Pass history. Across Xbox and Windows PC, Palworld has reached more than 7 million players already and achieved a peak of almost 3 million daily active users on Xbox.
Whether or not it’s uncommon for Microsoft to step in this way to help a developer so closely is not immediately clear. We do know that, after Baldur’s Gate 3 started to put up big numbers, Microsoft stepped in and assisted Larian with getting Baldur’s Gate 3 ready for Xbox.
In both cases, Microsoft lending a hand in a more direct manner makes sense given the respective popularity of each game. A game that performs better and is generally the best version possible would in theory help it sell and perform the best, which benefits both the developer and Microsoft.
It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Palworld, however, as developer Pocketpair has been accused of plagiarism. Additionally, The Pokemon Company said it plans to “investigate,” though it remains to be seen if any legal action could be taken.