With tens of thousands of mods for games like Skyrim and Fallout, Nexus Mods must be the biggest mod site on Earth, but even it's not keen to pick a fight over Palworld with Nintendo's army of lawyers. After seemingly removing an Ash Ketchum mod for the game from its archives, Nexus community lead Mathew Elliot told PCGamesN that the site was "not comfortable hosting this content," meaning anything that might at all touch the livewire that is Pokémon's copyright.
"We do think that adding Pokémon content to Palworld is a very cool idea and we understand why people would want such a thing," said Elliot, but Nexus is just "not comfortable hosting this content." The reason, as you might guess, is Nintendo's litigiousness.
Referencing the corporation's "consistent record of mercilessly submitting legal challenges," Elliot added that Palworld's "similarity to the Pokémon franchise" made hosting content related to the Nintendo series a risky endeavour that would "almost certainly… put us at risk of legal action."
So no Jigglypuff Palworld mods on Nexus any time soon, because the admins reckon that "at best," it would mean legal threats from Nintendo and "at worst" direct action against the site and mod uploaders themselves. Modders can still feel free to upload their non-Pokémods—which "do not infringe on existing IP so obviously"—to the site, of course. I have to admit that I find the addition of "so obviously," kind of funny. Show a little subtlety, people.
I've reached out to Nexus Mods to ask if it can offer any further comment on its decision, and I'll update this piece if I hear back.
It's a shame for anyone hoping to realise our forefathers' dream of handing Mr Mime a pump-action shotgun, but it's not the end of the world. For one thing, there are plenty of ways to host mods that aren't Nexus, and second, it's an understandable decision for such a high-profile site. Nintendo has already been hard at work making copyright claims against Pokémon mods, and there's no reason to believe the company would make an exception for Nexus.