Enlarge / Everyone is focused on the Pals that look a lot like Pokémon; meanwhile, this guy is just a Totoro painted yellow. (credit: Pocketpair)

This past weekend, a monster-catching survival game called Palworld took Steam by storm; the game has sold over 8 million copies and has been sitting at the top of Steam’s “Top Selling” and “Most Played” charts all week. As of this writing, Steam’s dashboard claims that just under 2 million players are currently exploring Palworld, twice as many as Counter-Strike 2 (the second game on the list).
You can tell just from looking at screenshots from developer Pocketpair that many of Palworld’s monster designs are clearly inspired by designs from the Pokémon series, but the game’s surprise success has led to greater scrutiny. Some observers have claimed that Pocketpair has taken actual 3D models from the games and modified them to seem original. (That has

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