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Palworld: A Wild Indie Adventure with Costly Consequences

In the vast realm of gaming, unforeseen challenges often accompany unexpected success. Enter Palworld, the indie sensation from Japanese studio Pocket...

Ashley Bardhan Feb 05, 2024
Palworld: A Wild Indie Adventure with Costly Consequences

In the vast realm of gaming, unforeseen challenges often accompany unexpected success. Enter Palworld, the indie sensation from Japanese studio Pocketpair, which has taken the gaming world by storm. With its soaring popularity, however, comes a beastly problem—server upkeep costs that could make your eyes water.

Palworld, released on January 19 for PC and Xbox consoles, burst onto the scene as a day-one Xbox Game Pass release. Despite this, it claimed the throne as the best-selling game on Steam, a position it still holds more than two weeks later. But behind the scenes of this global triumph lies a tale of server struggles, as millions of eager players overwhelmed Palworld's multiplayer instances, bringing its backend to its virtual knees.

In a valiant attempt to shed light on these ongoing infrastructural challenges, Pocketpair's CEO, Takuro Mizobe, took to Twitter. He shared a screenshot of the game's monthly hosting costs projection, revealing that Palworld is hurtling toward a staggering 70.53 million yen—equivalent to $474,000—for server upkeep in February. Now that's what you call a hefty bill!

To add to the drama, Pocketpair's network engineer, Chujo Hiroto, disclosed in a subsequent tweet that he had been "ordered not to degrade" the game's multiplayer service, no matter what. The studio is currently providing Palworld's multiplayer servers "without considering profitability," ensuring that players can continue to savor the game "to the fullest." Bravo to their dedication!

While Pocketpair celebrates a milestone, with over 19 million players as of January 31, and a whopping 12 million purchasing the game on Steam, generating over $200 million in revenue (after Valve takes its cut), they are not planning to maintain this costly overhead indefinitely. They are hard at work patching known multiplayer bugs, including a pesky memory leak that affects scalability. It seems their decision to prioritize uninterrupted gameplay over cost management has led to these eye-watering server expenses.

Now, let's address any lingering multiplayer issues as of early February. Rest assured, they are unrelated to the Epic Online Services framework, which caused a few hiccups at launch. In fact, the Palworld developer even held an "emergency meeting" with Epic to ensure a smoother experience for players.

For those unfamiliar with this captivating game, Palworld combines elements of creature collecting, open-world exploration, survival, building, farming, monster breeding, and even a dash of shooter adrenaline. It's a thrilling cocktail of genres that invites players to embark on an unforgettable adventure, where the line between friend and foe blurs in a whimsical world.

So, dear gamers, join the ranks of Palworld's intrepid pioneers as they tame fantastical creatures, construct their dream havens, and delve into a captivating shooter experience. Traverse lush landscapes, overcome formidable challenges, and revel in the joy of Palworld's unrivaled gameplay.

But remember, the road to indie stardom is paved with unforeseen obstacles. As Palworld continues to evolve, Pocketpair stands ready to conquer the beast of server costs, ensuring an unforgettable experience for adventurers far and wide. So, grab your virtual gear, embark on this wild journey, and witness the magic of Palworld unfold before your very eyes.

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