For months since video footage of the new Nintendo Switch game, Cooking Mama: Cookstar, was leaked online, fans of the franchise rejoiced and waited patiently for its official release supposedly scheduled for March 2020.
But it’s now nearing May and fans are now wondering: what happened? Well, if you haven’t heard, a lot of things did.
Here’s the controversy surrounding Cooking Mama: Cookstar explained, and why the game may not ever be released again.
Sometime near the end of March, while everyone was frantically preparing for the quarantine amid a public health crisis, Nintendo quietly released the much-awaited Cooking Mama: Cookstar in the Nintendo eShop. But it didn’t take long for them to remove it and hold all the sales of the physical copy.
An explanation for the abrupt removal was never given by game developers at the time leading some to speculate a number of things.
One Twitter user alleged that the game was mining cryptocurrency using Nintendo Switch players’ consoles. This rumor was even more made believable after a press release dated February 2019 by blockchain gaming company Planet Digital Partners, aka Planet Entertainment, stated that Cooking Mama: Cookstar would be “the first game to integrate blockchain technology on major consoles.”
PSA FOR COOKING MAMA COOKSTAR pic.twitter.com/2IulAqq5Gp
— JIMBO (Dizzy and Jack-O Player) (@MorshuMmm) April 5, 2020
Also, I personally received this press release a few months back that has recently been shared, so can confirm its legitimacy. This seems to indicate there is some blockchain involvement? pic.twitter.com/AT8cpLXlGN
— Ryan Brown ?: ?? & ?? (@Toadsanime) April 5, 2020
However, Cooking Mama: Cookstar‘s official Twitter account refuted the claims, saying they “only explored the theory behind the concept, not the implementation.” They stressed that they will never “utilize crypto technology” in any of its games. The game developers later sent an official statement to Nintendo Everything though they did not address why the game was taken down.
We looked at these options as a means to allow players to trade in-game assets. However, we only explored the theory behind the concept, not the implementation. Cooking Mama: Cookstar, nor any of our other titles in the past or near future will utilize crypto technology.
— Cooking Mama: Cookstar (@CookstarMama) April 6, 2020
Another Twitter user suggested that the game was removed from the Nintendo eShop due to ripped audio files from YouTube.
— Ehm (@OtherEhm) April 5, 2020
But the final theory, and most likely the real reason behind the mysterious suspension of the game, came from an anonymous member of the Cooking Mama: Cookstar development team.
According to the developer, it all boiled down to a legal battle between Planet Entertainment and the owner of the rights to the Cooking Mama franchise, Office Create Corp. Apparently, Office Create was unimpressed with the quality of the game and was against its release but Planet Entertainment published it anyway. Office Create then, allegedly, contacted Nintendo to take down the game from the eShop, stop the production of the physical copy, and halt advertising across social media platforms.
The source also claimed that Planet Entertainment is planning on filing a lawsuit against Office Create over the money they lost.
Though this has yet to be confirmed, Office Create did publish an official statement last week calling the “unauthorized release” of Cooking Mama: Cookstar a “breach of Planet’s contract.”
“In August 2018, Office Create licensed Planet to develop the Cooking Mama: Cookstar game for Nintendo Switch™. Unfortunately, the quality of the game builds failed to meet the standards that our customers expect and deserve,” they wrote.
“Office Create rejected a wide range of deficiencies affecting the overall feel, quality and content of the game. Yet, despite being contractually obligated to correct the identified deficiencies and resubmit the corrected game for Office Create’s approval, Planet proceeded to release Cooking Mama: Cookstar without addressing all of the rejections and without Office Create’s approval.”
They also denied allowing Planet Entertainment to create a Sony PlayStation 4 version of the game, contrary to what was being promoted the past year.
“On March 30, 2020 Office Create notified Planet of its immediate termination of the license due to Planet’s intentional material breach of the license contract. Despite such notice, Planet continues to advertise and sell the unauthorized version of Cooking Mama: Cookstar on its website in willful violation of Office Create’s rights,” they added.
They then revealed that they will be pursuing legal action.
The following day, Planet Entertainment responded with its own statement, claiming that Office Create’s demands were raised near the project’s completion and already outside the terms of the agreement. “By contract, Planet is fully within its rights to publish Cooking Mama: Cookstar,” they said.
— Cooking Mama: Cookstar (@CookstarMama) April 15, 2020
It’s unknown if Cooking Mama: Cookstar will ever be released again, digitally or physically, and the very few who managed to grab a copy may consider themselves keepers of a “collector’s item.” Unfortunately, this just means that all those who grew up playing Cooking Mama may have to wait a few more years before a new game—hopefully, a better one—ever comes out again.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!
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