It's official: Palworld has a bigger population than 127 literal countries, including Senegal, Somalia, the Netherlands, and Chad. That's according to Pocketpair's sales statistics and this Wikipedia list of countries by population, anyway, with the news that Palworld has now has a soul-boggling 19 million players around the world. That's 12 million copies sold on Steam and 7 million people (many via Game Pass) on Xbox. It released 13 days ago, in case you were wondering.
That's a lot (they sent me to journalism school to offer those kinds of insights), and would be a wild number of sales for any game of Palworld's relatively obscure origins, but it's worth bearing in mind that Palworld is still an early access game with a whole dev roadmap ahead of it. Will its popularity slow as the hype cools to room temperature or are things just going to get even weirder as the devs add more features, more pals, more stuff?
It's hard to say, but I suspect Palworld is not yet done tweeting happily about the latest gargantuan number it's discovered. Outside of sales, the game is also sitting pretty as the second game in history to hit over 2 million players. Its current all-time peak (per SteamDB) is 2.1 million: a fair bit behind PUBG's 3.2 million, but comfortably ahead of Counter-Strike's 1.8 million.
Unsurprisingly, for a game of such meteoric popularity, there's been plenty of other news circling Palworld since it released. There's the dreadful smutty lizard, the hidden Mewtwo-like, and—probably most importantly—The Pokémon Company's response to a game that everyone keeps calling Pokémon with guns, where it said it would "'investigate and take appropriate measures to address any acts that infringe on intellectual property rights related to the Pokémon'."
Nothing's come of that yet, though, and I'm sceptical it will. Although Nintendo has been quick to leap on copyright-infringing Palworld mods (so much so that Nexus Mods has issued a blanket ban on Palworld Poké-mods), it's let Pocketpair go about its merry business. Truly, nothing can stop it now.
Correction: This piece originally said Palworld had sold 19 million copies, which didn't take into account the fact that it's available on Game Pass on Xbox. This has now been amended.