Pokemon Go studio Niantic has released additional news on upcoming Go Fest 2022 events in Berlin, Seattle, and Sapporo, with new Ultra Beasts – Pheromosa, Buzzwole, and Xurkitree – spawning at each of the respective events. A new ball type, the Beast Ball, will also be usable for in-person raids, though what their function is hasn’t been revealed. Hopefully these will also appear in the August 27 Finale Event, along with another revealed Pokemon, Cowboy Hat Snorlax, to the chagrin of Pokemon Go personality Mike “Cowboy Hat Caterpie Please” Nerdlaw. (The POGO community will know that Nerdlaw has been pushing for a cowboy hat Caterpie since forever, often seen in the comments section of official game tweets with his request.)
What is most important to note, however, is that Snorlax with a cowboy hat is in previous Pokemon Media, appearing in the episode Lights, Camerupt, Action!. While Niantic obviously can do whatever The Pokemon Company allows, its most likely easier to do with ‘mon that have appeared in other media.
We also note that using pokemon in general in this way is frowned upon by The Pokemon Company, mostly because it’s often limited to Pikachu. Worse yet, unevolved pokemon with hats cannot always be evolved, so the rare times a hatmon is actually useful, such as with Flowercrown Togepi or Top Hat Kirlia, getting one with good stat production can feel like a kick in the teeth, though we have certainly seen Niantic re-release hatmon and allow the costume onto the evolved forms.
We’re also looking at a situation where we’re getting what we asked for, just not quite how we wanted it. As with Sunglasses Squirtle in June 2018, the last-minute tease was exciting but generated player doubt that the company would do it correctly. Low and behold, the released Squirtle had sunglasses, but they’re more like aviators than either of the Squirtle Squad sunglasses models. While we appreciate that the sunglasses didn’t prevent Squirtle from evolving and finally gave Blastoise some swag (just not in Mega form), getting it wrong seems to be something Niantic does quite often.
I’m sure Sheriff Snorlax will have his hat, but not his badge or belt, if that’s of any consolation to Mr. Nerdlaw and his cowboy hat caterpie campaign. For the rest of us, it’s nice to see some of the other pokemon variants from non-game media get digitized into a single game, especially if this Sheriff comes to our towns on August 27th.