- One of the “ace” developers behind Palworld was a 20-year-old with no game industry experience and a part-time job at a convenience store until discovered by PocketPair.
- Two years after starting at the studio full-time, the young prodigy contributed to everything from the game’s gun animations and scripts to sound effects and camera behavior.
- PocketPair CEO Takuro Mizobe said that discovering such a talented young individual who wasn’t poached by a big company was a “miracle.”
One of the “ace” developers behind Palworld was working as a part-timer at a convenience store without a single game to his name until he was discovered by PocketPair a couple of years back, a senior company official has revealed. This inspiring story adds to the game’s fast-growing legend that already includes Palworld becoming one of the most successful early access games ever made within days of launching.
The early access version of Palworld was released on January 19 for Xbox consoles and PC, in addition to debuting as a day-one Xbox Game Pass title. Five days later, the open-world survival experience is already the second most-played game ever to grace Steam, based on the platform’s concurrent player data. But that success did not come easy; on the contrary, it wasn’t that long ago that PocketPair CEO Takuro Mizobe was losing hope that he’d ever find the talent to help make the game he wanted to, never mind actually complete the project itself.
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Small companies rarely have the luxury of “talented young graduates” applying for jobs, the executive recalled in a recent write-up detailing the game’s hectic development cycle. This was all the more problematic because Mizobe was looking for someone based out of Japan and knowledgeable about making shooters, a rarity in a country that prides itself on its RPG output. The CEO eventually grew so desperate that he found himself scouring Twitter in search of developer talent, which is when he stumbled on an account posting incredibly detailed gun animations accompanied by Japanese hashtags.
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Following some back-and-forth, Mizobe confirmed that the author of these impressive videos was indeed based out of Japan, but was surprised to learn that he is neither a developer nor an animator, but a 20-year-old working as a part-time clerk at a convenience store in Hokkaido. After this peculiar individual offered some incredibly in-depth criticism of the Palworld prototype footage showcasing the game’s gunplay, Mizobe—in awe of his enthusiasm and knowledge—immediately hired him as a remote contractor. Shortly thereafter, the young man moved 800 miles to Tokyo and started working as a full-time PocketPair employee circa 2022, not long after Palworld was officially unveiled.
I want to thank him for the miracle of meeting him.
Although he never used Unreal Engine beforehand, he learned quickly and was proactive, Mizobe recalled. Two years later, his contributions to Palworld span everything from the game’s gun animations and sound effects to UE Blueprint scripts and camera behavior. “I want to thank him for the miracle of meeting him,” Mizobe concluded.
The young prodigy was not identified by name, much like the rest of the people mentioned in the executive’s write-up. And while there might come a time when Mizobe revisits this story with more details, the fact that the Palworld developer is currently receiving death threats would make anyone reluctant to do so anytime soon.
Pocket Pair’s Palworld is a creature-collection game set in an open-world. Entering early access on January 19, 2024, the project blends survival, building, farming, monster breeding, and shooter elements.
- January 19, 2024
- Pocket Pair, Inc.
- Pocket Pair, Inc.
- Unreal Engine 5
- T For Teen Due To Violence
- Number of Players
- 1-4 (Co-Op); 32 Players Server Limit