Fans of Cooking Mama were in for a shock when they tried to purchase the new game from the Nintendo eShop on its release date last week. On March 31, Cooking Mama: Cookstar was slated to release on the Nintendo Switch in the U.S. It briefly appeared online and then disappeared shortly after, prompting an outcry from fans on social media. Not only did gamers struggle to get their hands on digital copies, but according to Nintendo Life, physical copies were equally scarce.
Today, Nintendo Life reports that new accusations have emerged against the game's developers, alleging that Cookstar is using blockchain technology to mine bitcoins and steal user information. Cooking Mama became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter after the shocking rumor went viral. People began suspecting the game was mining cryptocurrency after the developers announced the game would integrate blockchain technology.
Ryan Brown, a popular member of the video game community and source for news, reached out to the game's developers and managed to receive a statement about Cookstar's status and the strange rumors dogging the game.
"As the developers we can say with certainty there is no cryptocurrency or data collection or blockchain or anything else shady in the code. The Nintendo Switch is a very safe platform, with none of the data and privacy issues associated with some mobile and PC games."Based on the Nintendo Life article and Brown's Twitter thread, it would appear that the blockchain technology was initially part of the game's code but then later removed, which may have led to some of the game's "poor optimization."
The oddities surrounding this game release go back to the fact it remains unclear who published the game, exactly. As IGN reported on Friday, there are some discrepancies about the company behind Cooking Mama: Cookstar. The original series was made by a Japanese developer called Office Create, who eventually changed their name to Cooking Mama Ltd. From there, things start to get strange.
"Seemingly just to confuse me further, it seems that, at some point, it changed its name back to Office Create, the developer listed on the most recently released 'Cooking Mama' games. But neither of those company names are on the packaging or merchandising for 'Cookstar,'" IGN reported.
The next developer listed was 1st Playable, but there is no mention of the game on their website. On the official game box, it indicates Planet Entertainment, which is part of Planet Digital Partners, is its developer, but that path also leads to a "dead end" as neither company will take credit for making the game.
According to IGN, there is no mention of the game on the Planet Entertainment website, and they allegedly "deleted older posts about the game."
At this point, it remains unclear what happened behind-the-scenes of Cooking Mama: Cookstar and whether the latest release was even legitimate. The game has been removed from all seller websites, including GameStop and Amazon. Still, some fans have managed to get their hands on copies before the game was pulled from shelves.