Recently, you might have heard all about Cooking Mama: Cookstar, a Nintendo Switch game that was supposed to be coming to PlayStation 4 as well. The story of this latest entry in the beloved cooking series has been quite dramatic. While most apply to the Switch edition of the game, a new statement from the owner of the IP Office Create also drags PS4 into the equation.
But let's go through it all to get up to speed. Our sister site Nintendo Life has covered this saga, and it all starts with a botched digital release. The game went on sale in some regions, only to be pulled a few days later. While some physical retailers are still selling boxed copies of the title — and the publisher is resorting to selling copies itself — the digital edition was removed quickly, without explanation.
Soon after, rumors started circulating about the cryptocurrency. The game is said to include blockchain technology, but was said to be used to mine cryptocurrency in the background. These claims were quickly denied by the developer, but dataminers discovered that the code for such a system had been removed before its release.
Some thought this was the reason for the game's removal from sale, but the aforementioned dataminers also discovered that there were audio files taken directly from YouTube videos in the title. Could this be the reason it was pulled from digital shelves?
Well, with today's new statement from Office Create, we learn a bit more about what really happened. According to the intellectual property holder, the release of Cooking Mama: Cookstar was "unauthorized", and a direct breach of contract by publisher Planet Entertainment. Office Create goes on to say that the game failed quality checks, but was pushed for release against its permission. This explains why it appeared on Nintendo's eShop and disappeared soon after.
He then discusses a PS4 version of the game which is currently on sale. "Office Create has not authorized Planet (or any other entity) to make Cooking Mama games for PS4," the company explains. The license agreement, as you can imagine, was withdrawn from Planet Entertainment, but it "apparently continues to promote and sell the unauthorized version of Cooking Mama: Cookstar".
That's quite the journey for what's supposed to be a lighthearted game about food crafting. We don't imagine it's over either; with Office Create "evaluating all legal actions against Planet", we may see this situation getting worse before it gets better. We can also safely assume that the PS4 version of Cookstar, which was never greenlit in the first place, will never see the light of day.