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The bizarre controversy behind Cooking Mama: Cookstar

Controversy has surrounded Cooking Mama: Cookstar, the latest installment in the normally mild-mannered cooking simulator franchise for the Nintendo Switch, after it was abruptly pulled off the Nintendo eShop shortly after its release.

The game launched near the end of March, but it is currently unavailable on the Nintendo eShop across multiple regions. Physical copies in certain regions have also been reportedly held.

There was no explanation for the sudden takedown of Cooking Mama: Cookstar. However, a tweet alleged that the game was mining cryptocurrency using players’ Nintendo Switch consoles.

But the official Cooking Mama: Cookstar account on Twitter blasted to the cryptocurrency-mining accusations as “absolutely incorrect.”

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

In a statement sent to Nintendo Everything, Cooking Mama: Cookstar developer 1st Playable said there was “no cryptocurrency or data collection or blockchain or anything else shady” in the game’s code.

“The Nintendo Switch is a very safe platform, with none of the data and privacy issues associated with some mobile and PC games,” the developers said. But they didn’t explain why the game had been removed.

Digital Trends reached out to Cooking Mama: Cookstar developer 1st Playable for comment. We will update this story when we hear back.

IGN later confirmed with players who own the game that claims of it causing the Nintendo Switch to overheat were false, but there does appear to be an issue with battery drain. It was also confirmed that Cooking Mama: Cookstar could be played offline, debunking allegation that it always needs an internet connection to enable cryptocurrency mining.

Unfortunately, the controversy didn’t end there, as Twitter user @OtherEhm suggested another possible reason for the game’s removal from the Nintendo eShop: audio files ripped from YouTube.

Finally, an anonymous member of the Cooking Mama: Cookstar development team revealed what they claimed was the real reason why the game is stuck in limbo.

The developer claimed the real reason behind Cooking Mama: Cookstar‘s removal from the Nintendo eShop is a legal battle between Planet Entertainment and the owner of the rights to the Cooking Mama series, Office Create, according to Screen Rant.

Office Create reportedly wanted 1st Playable to keep polishing the game, and possibly even cancel the project, but Planet Entertainment released it anyway. Office Create then contacted Nintendo to take down Cooking Mama: Cookstar from the digital store and to stop production of the physical version, and also blocked advertising on platforms such as YouTube and TikTok, the developer told ScreenRant.

The developer said that Planet Entertainment is launching a lawsuit against Office Create over the money it lost.

“It’s hard to say if it will ever be released properly,” he added.

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Aaron Mamiit
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