Palworld cost a lot of money to make and Pocket Pair CEO Takuro Mizobe didn’t want to manage any of it.
In a long post on Note.com, Mizobe went into how much it cost to make Palworld as well as how he managed the company’s budget.
According to Mizobe, Palworld cost ¥1 billion to develop or, roughly $6.75 million in today’s US dollars. That said, he didn’t want to worry about the cost of the game.
“It would be impossible for a decent company to develop a game without managing the budget,” he said. “Pocket Pair is not a decent company.”
Mizobe said he didn’t feel managing a budget was worth the cost in effort. He also said that, at the start, he didn’t want to build a “major game”. Palworld was originally supposed to be built and finished within a year because of not having the desire to work on the same things for years.
“The company Pocket Pair is clearly not suitable for making large titles,” he said, mentioning that, at the time, there were only 10 employees. “I didn’t have that image at all.”
Mizobe ended up creating a team of four at first to start work on the game. The goal, he said, was to “make it quickly, release it immediately, and see how users react.”
Palworld Development Didn’t Go To Plan
Ultimately, the game didn’t get finished and released in a year. In fact, Mizobe says the game was “bad” and nowhere near close to being able to release.
“[I] became clear that in order to realize the game that we had envisioned, there was not enough manpower, money, or development time,” he said.
That’s when he decide it wasn’t worth actually budgeting the game.
“The budget cap starts with a zero balance in your bank account. When it reaches zero, you can borrow money,” he said. “In that case, do you need to manage your budget?”
Mizobe said that they would borrow money and kept working on the game, hiring people and building out what they wanted Palworld to be no matter the cost.
In the three years since the decision, 40 more people have been hired to work on Palworld while the studio outsourced even more help.
“[I]t’s still barely ready to go into Early Access, and it’s far from truly complete,” Mizobe says. “For the time being, it is in a state where it can be put out into the world.”
The game has been out in early access since January 18, and has surpassed 5 million in sales. The game has also become the second-most-played game in Steam history. It hasn’t been without controversy, however, as it has received accusations from many online about plagiarizing Pokemon for the designs of its Pals.