Some strange rumors were surrounding Cooking Mama: Cookstar, where the game was initially announced as some sort of tie into blockchain technology, which led to people thinking that the game was some sort of crypto-mining software. The game apparently launched in March on the Nintendo Switch but was then silently pulled from the Nintendo eShop without an explanation.
According to Nintendo Everything, Ryan Brown from Numskull Designs reached out to the developers to find out more about the claims of the game having some sort of attachment to blockchain technology and crypto-mining.
In a series of tweets published on April 5th, 2020, Brown wrote…
“Absolute madness – the latest Cooking Mama game has been delisted from the eShop for discreetly mining cryptocurrency with users’ consoles.
“The story behind this Cooking Mama game is insane.
“There doesn’t even seem to be any assurance on WHO actually made this game – it doesn’t seem to be from the original publisher, but this game has always been treated as an official release.
“I managed to contact the Cooking Mama: Cookfest developers regarding the delisting and mining claims: ‘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.’
“I personally received the press release I quote tweeted earlier, so can confirm that is legitimate. The press release does seem to contradict this statement.
“Bit confused as to what’s going on.”
It’s true that the game was advertised to feature blockchain technology. Brown points to a tweet from back in August, 2019 that leads to an article from Nintendo Life talking about how the studio behind Cooking Mama: Cookstar were planning on using blockchain tech for the game.
The press release came from Planet Digital Partners and originally announced that the game was set to release in fall of 2019 with the “Vegetarian Mode” and blockchain feature. Planet Digital Partners president Steve Grossman explained in the press release from back in August, 2019…
“Gaming is a $135 billion dollar industry with little opportunity to invest outside of the large public game publishers. We are using blockchain to add new innovative gameplay that investors can now have equity in. Putting aspects of Cooking Mama on-chain will take the user experience to a whole new level, reinvigorate a popular game franchise that many grew up with and give investors an opportunity to make handsome returns, through a digital preferred share offering.”
Some gamers who apparently picked up a copy before GameStop pulled it from their stores gave the game a one star, stating that it would fry your console.
If you check the GameStop store page now it only lists that the game is available for $39.99 but there is no option to actually buy the game.
Some gamers did upload footage of Cooking Mama: Cookstar of the Switch after getting their hands on a copy, such as ContraNetwork. So it confirms that the game was briefly available at the end of March before being silently pulled.
Nintendo Life ran an updated story, with an explanation Direct-Feed Games claiming that due to the “shoddy” removal of the blockchain code, the game causes the Switch’s battery to overheat.
Cooking Mama: Cookstar is a big topic today, but we need to look all angles. Via reverse engineering, it has been found that there is no crypto mining code in the game. HOWEVER, battery does drain fast due to shoddy removal of the said code. Get the full story before reacting. https://t.co/S9kAPBq5CG
— Direct-Feed Games (@DirectFeedGames) April 5, 2020
This corroborates what some of the user reviews mentioned on the GameStop page, and would explain why the game was quickly pulled from the Nintendo eShop.
Some other games who managed to get their hands on a copy before the shops closed down the purchasing option did confirm a few things about the game, however, including that the cart version does not contain any blockchain tech, and that it is possible to play the game offline.
UPDATE 2 : we have worked with a user who has a physical copy and can at first appearances confirm the following: thanks @mmofallout
Game works offline
Game works without a linked user acc
Game works on a formatted console
Currency and blockchain appears removed pic.twitter.com/arsXwcaHWl
— DoesItPlay – please stay at home (@DoesItPlay1) April 5, 2020
Back on March 5th, 2020, Warior64 noted that the game was set to release at the end of March for the Nintendo Switch, while the PS4 version was scheduled to launch April 28th. Whether or not the PS4 version of the game has been impacted due to the Switch issues has not been clarified yet.
There’s also no word on if the game will return to the Nintendo eShop once the battery issue is fixed or if GameStop will reopen purchases for the game again.
(Thanks for the news tip Generic Name Here and Tim At Where)