As April 2020 began, one of the zaniest stories in gaming revolved around Cooking Mama, of all series. The plucky little cooking game that started on the Nintendo DS was set to make its Nintendo Switch debut, and it did. But, that debut only lasted for an hour or so before the new Cooking Mama: Cookstar vanished from the Nintendo eShop and most of the internet. Fans tried to sleuth out why so many traces of the game were vanishing from publisher websites, and journalists tried to get official responses to no avail. Then, a resurfaced 2019 press release and a few social media posts began to suggest something fishy was going on.
But according to the game’s developer, which finally started responding to people, those rumors are just that. Several folks in the community are backing that up as well.
For everyone saying Cooking Mama is mining bitcoin: ‼️LITERALLY UNTRUE AND ENTIRELY FALSE‼️
Actively HARMFUL for something POSITIVE for gaming. The people who want to sink Cooking Mama want to make money from you.
Let me—a computer scientist who understands blockchain—explain.
— Evit-SANNN-EEeehhhh 🤷♂️ (@Evit_cani) April 5, 2020
1st Playable is the developer on Cooking Mama: Cookstar and started replying to folks’ blockchain concerns on April 4, 2020. You can check out the most important thread below, which includes a lot of back and forth, but no actual reason for the delisting and distribution weirdness yet.
@1stPlayable Hi, are you the developers behind Cooking Mama: Cookstar?
— Dystroph (@Dystrophical) April 5, 2020
It could be easy to dismiss claims like that from official sources depending on how that information is dispersed, but dataminers have also started digging into Cookstar‘s code and are also dispelling the rumor. Individual fans have also disputed earlier claims that Cookstar doesn’t function without an internet connection, stating the game runs just fine on airplane mode.
I keep seeing rumours about there being a cryptominer in Cooking Mama: Cookstar, and due to its inclusion, it was pulled from the eShop.
After some RE work, I can safely say there is no cryptominer/blockchain stuff anywhere within Cooking Mama: Cookstar's code.
— SimonTime (@itssimontime) April 5, 2020
For now, Cooking Mama: Cookstar remains scrubbed from the Nintendo Switch eShop. A licensing issue cropping up out of nowhere on release date sounds ridiculous, but so does a cute video game about cooking being a front for cryptocurrency mining. Stranger things have happened. But for now, there is room yet for further plot twists in the Cooking Mama mystery saga.
Cooking Mama: Cookstar is apparently available physically, if you can find a copy, for the Nintendo Switch.