With the Xbox version of smash hit Palworld lagging behind the Steam version in terms of features and updates, developer Pocketpair has moved to explain the situation.
Writing in the Palworld Discord, Pocketpair community manager Bucky moved to clarify a “common misconception” after Xbox players had suggested they were playing an older build of Palworld compared to the Steam version.
It’s worth noting that on Steam, Palworld players can create and join dedicated servers that enable up to 32 players to play in the same world and create guilds together. But on Xbox and Windows PC (so, everyone playing on Game Pass), Palworld players cannot create or join dedicated servers, which means online co-op is limited to 2-4 players. Crossplay between Xbox and Steam is currently unavailable.
“The versions of the game are not the same between Steam and Xbox,” Bucky said.
“That is to say, Steam v1.2 and Xbox v1.2 are not the same thing. There seems to be some confusion that Steam and Xbox are ‘missing features’. That isn’t entirely true.
“Some features may be slightly different or have different value but other issues like the missing exit game button etc are not a result of an ‘older build’, these are separate issues.
“In fact, Steam and Xbox will likely never have identical version numbers until the games are brought to be crossplay compatible because at that point they will be the same game internally.
“Again, that doesn’t mean Xbox is necessarily ‘behind’ or anything, they are just just fundamentally two different versions of the game because of the architecture on Xbox is different. Xbox’s version of 1.2 may not be the same as Steam’s 1.2 and vice-versa. Of course, the goal is to bring them to the exact same place but this won’t be achievable until crossplay is fully compatible.
“What I am saying is, a lot of people are asking for Xbox to be brought up to v1.2 right now but Xbox’s v1.2 is not the same at Steam’s v1.2.”
Then, responding to an Xbox player who called for parity with the Steam version, Bucky said updates were lagging behind on Xbox due to the certification process with Microsoft. On Steam, developers apply patches as and when they see fit.
“Some of these things will take extra time,” Bucky said, “we’re really at the mercy of the certification here. We’re desperately trying to speed this up.”
While this explains the patch release timing difference, Pocketpair is yet to properly explain the Palworld’s lack of dedicated servers on Xbox and Windows PC.
Last week, Pocketpair’s Bucky said: “We’d like to have dedicated servers on Xbox but it’s unfortunately not up to us and is quite difficult to negotiate at this time!” a Pocketpair representative said. “But… we are trying!”
It’s unclear what Pocketpair means when it says the addition of dedicated servers on Xbox is “not up to us”, when other games do have dedicated servers on Xbox. IGN has asked for comment.
While Palworld is a smash hit, it is not without controversy. Pocketpair has said its staff have received death threats amid Pokémon “rip-off” claims, and there’s already a Pokémon mod on the way. Palworld’s enormous launch has seen its servers struggle, too.
Check out IGN’s Palworld Early Access Review in Progress to find out what we thought.