Gaming

Pokémon Go fan needs Niantic to put Cowboy Hat Caterpie in there

This is the (ongoing) story of Cowboy Hat Caterpie.

Since 2019, a Pokémon Go player by the name of Mike Nerdlaw has been asking Niantic, the company behind the game, for a Cowboy Hat Caterpie. What is Cowboy Hat Caterpie? It’s a Caterpie wearing a cowboy hat.

Nerdlaw politely asked the Pokémon Go official Twitter account, saying “Cowboy Hat Caterpie please” on post after post. Why? “Caterpie didn’t get the love it deserves, it’s so cute,” the player tells Polygon. Nerdlaw also grew up on a farm, and has “always had love for Cowboy hats, so it was a natural fit.”

Ever since that first request, community support for Cowboy Hat Caterpie has remained strong, to the point of even being included in a popular fan-made game, Pokedoku. The people stood with Mike Nerdlaw.

Still, for years, the ask has received radio silence from Niantic. That is, until a fateful day a little under a year ago.

On Aug. 26, 2023, Pokémon Go released Cowboy Hat Snorlax as a part of Go Fest. Was this a slap in the face to Mike and all Cowboy Hat Caterpie supporters?

Most likely not. Cowboy Hat Snorlax previously appeared in the Pokémon anime.

But tensions rose again on Oct. 5, 2023, with the release of Cowboy Hat Slowpoke. Technically, Slowpoke wore a detective hat in his new incarnation, but it looked awfully like a cowboy hat. Surely this was pouring a vat of salt on the wound. Maybe Niantic hates caterpillars. Maybe Niantic hates Mike.

Or maybe… they’re just edging us.

Nerdlaw is hopeful that the dream of a Cowboy Hat Caterpie may one day come true via an added ability to accessorize Pokémon. And there are, understandably, other priorities, too. “Am I sad that it still not in the game? Yes, but there are so many game-breaking bugs in the game that I’d rather they fixed first, before adding our little hatted bug friend.”

But to that we still say: Cowboy Hat Caterpie, please.


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