Palworld's made so much money it's 'too big for a studio with our size to handle', but CEO says it's not going to go public or sell up yet: 'I want to make multiple small games'

Palworld Ancient Civilization Parts - Grizzbolt with a minigun
(Image credit: Pocket Pair)

PocketPair CEO and Palworld creator Takuro Mizobe has given an interview to Bloomberg about the game's breakout success. During the interview Mizobe puts this down to, among other things, its unusual mix of influences and it being a game that's fun to watch as well as play with friends. But the scale of that success? It's both almost too much for Pocketpair to handle, and something that Mizobe is determined won't change the studio. 

Mizobe founded Pocketpair in 2015 after a stint as a tech engineer at JP Morgan, and remains the CEO and sole owner of the 55-person studio in Tokyo. The game attracted over 25 million players in its first month, albeit some of those were down to Game Pass, and at $30 a head that's suddenly an awful lot of money. Mizobe says Palworld's development budget was less than ¥1 billion ($6.7 million), and has now returned tens of billions of yen in profit: which Mizobe says is simply "too big for a studio with our size to handle."

Despite this, Mizobe isn't embarking on large-scale recruitment or Silicon Valley offices with beanbags and private chefs, and nor does he plan to offer shares in Pocketpair. He says the studio will remain open to partnerships and even in the right case acquisition, but it's not currently in talks with anyone.

And he's realistic, too: don't expect another Palworld-style viral success from Pocketpair. But do expect something built on those same principles, with Mizobe regarding the more mid-range studios as the places that can genuinely pioneer in game design.

"We are and will remain a small studio," says Mizobe. "I want to make multiple small games. Big-budget triple-A games are not for us."

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."