Palworld hopes faux-Gardevoir raid battles will bring players back

mega gardevoir bellanoir

Palworld just released a trailer for its first-ever raid boss, Bellanoir, and it’s another shout-out to an iconic Pokemon, this time Gardevoir.

Nobody can deny the impressive heights that Palworld’s success has reached. The game sold 8 million copies within its first week, more than Pokemon Legends: Arceus did within the same timeframe at 6.5 million copies. It also achieved an all-time peak of over 2 million concurrent players on Steam in January 2024 and hovers around 100,000 daily players daily as of March 2024. 

It also can’t be ignored that much of Palworld’s success stems from the game’s blatant and oft-controversial influences from other popular games, specifically Pokemon and ARK: Survival Evolved. But while Palworld was initially dubbed a “Pokemon killer,” that has proven to not be the case as the game’s player counts have fallen from being one of the most-played games in Steam history to bouncing around the fringes of the top-20, behind Steam staples like Counter-Strike 2 and PUBG: Battlegrounds, as well as newcomers like Helldivers 2.

The game is still a wild success, with developer Pocketpair’s CEO telling Bloomberg that the game made back its development costs 10 times over, but it also needs to regain or at least retain its current momentum. The hope is that the introduction of raid battles, starting with a boss based on fan-favorite Pokemon Gardevoir, will lure players back to Palworld en masse.

What is Palworld’s first raid boss?

Palworld’s first Raid Boss is a gigantic Pal named Bellanoir.

The trailer featured a large-sized Pal with an unmistakable similarity to the Pokemon Gardevoir, particularly a shiny Mega Gardevoir. Unlike Gardevoir, Belanoir is a fire-based Pal rather than a psychic fairy.

Palworld Bella Noir 1

The Palworld Team has not confirmed Bellanoir’s release date.  Still, Palworld fans have sought raid bosses for a while. Despite Palworld’s continued success, it hasn’t received a significant content update since its release and as an early access title, engaging activities became difficult to find after a certain point. A raid boss gives players a reason to gather resources and strengthen their Pals further. 

Will Palworld get more raid bosses after Bellanoir?

Developers will add more raid bosses after Bellanoir.

Palworld’s social media account confirms the team will add raid bosses in Palworld.  Although the devs gave no release date for the raid bosses, Bellanoir signals the start of a new era for Palworld. Other upcoming features include PvP and Pal Arena, a PvP mode for Pals. 

Although other viral hits like Helldivers 2 captured some of the interest in the mainstream, the new raid boss will entice many of those players back to Palworld. Love it or hate it, Palworld is here to stay.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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