Nexus Mods Bans Pokémon-Themed Palworld Mods to Avoid Nintendo’s Legal Crosshairs

The Nexus Mods team bans Pokémon-themed Palworld mods in an effort to avoid Nintendo's legal team, and we've got the details here!
Pokemon Palworld Mod Hoot Ash
Image: Toasted Shoes

Popular modding platform Nexus Mods is taking a cautious stance against Palworld mods that incorporate Pokémon content, citing concerns over potential copyright infringement and legal action from Nintendo. This decision comes amidst a recent surge in Palworld mods, some of which directly introduce Pokémon creatures and mechanics into the game.

The move follows Nintendo’s swift takedown of several online videos showcasing these Pokémon-infused Palworld mods, including one by YouTuber ToastedShoes, which was taken down. Additionally, the Palworld modding community’s Discord server implemented a strict policy prohibiting any links or resources related to Pokémon mods, aiming to mitigate the risk of attracting further unwanted attention from Nintendo.

Nexus Mods community lead Mathew Elliott explained their reasoning behind the ban in a statement to PCGamesN. They highlighted Nintendo’s history of aggressively pursuing legal action against fan-made content that infringes on their intellectual property. While acknowledging the popularity of these Pokémon-themed Palworld mods, Nexus Mods ultimately prioritized protecting itself and its users from potential legal repercussions.

“Given Palworld’s similarity to the Pokemon franchise as a base game, hosting content that adds copyrighted characters or assets into the game is almost certainly going to put us at risk of legal action… We don’t think it’s worth the risk to allow this content to be shared in our community… There are many creative opportunities to explore mods for this game that add to the world and gameplay, but do not infringe on existing IP so obviously.”

Mathew Elliott (Nexus Mods Statement)

The ban does not affect non-Pokémon related Palworld mods, which remain available for download on Nexus Mods. However, the decision marks a significant development for the Palworld modding scene, highlighting the complexities and legal considerations surrounding fan-made content that draws inspiration from established franchises like Pokémon.

It remains to be seen whether other modding platforms will follow suit in restricting Pokémon-themed Palworld content. Nonetheless, this is probably the bes tthing to do because Nintendo is merciless when it comes to defending their property and IPs. Even mod creators should be careful not to step out of line.

Jorge A. Aguilar

Jorge A. Aguilar

Jorge A. Aguilar, also known as Aggy, is the current Assigning Editor.

He started his career as an esports, influencer, and streaming writer for Sportskeeda. He then moved to GFinity Esports to cover streaming, games, guides, and news before moving to the Social team where he ended his time as the Lead of Social Content.

He also worked a writer and editor for both Pro Game Guides and Dot Esports, and as a writer for PC Invasion, Attack of the Fanboy, and Android Police. Aggy is the former Managing Editor and Operations Overseer of N4G Unlocked and a former Gaming editor for WePC.

Throughout his time in the industry, he's trained over 100 writers, written thousands of articles on multiple sites, written more reviews than he cares to count, and edited tens of thousands of articles. He has also written some games published by Tales, some books, and a comic sold to Telus International.

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