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Cooking Mama: Cookstar publisher fires back, says publishing the game was fully within their rights

Too many cooks in the kitchen...

Earlier this week, Cooking Mama IP holder Office Create put out a statement concerning Cooking Mama: Cookstar. In that statement, Office Create said the release of Cooking Mama: Cookstar was unauthorized, and their team would be looking into legal action.

Today we have a response from Planet Entertainment, the publisher of Cooking Mama: Cookstar. Long story short, they say they've done nothing wrong, and there's no active litigation. You can check out their full statement below.

Planet Entertainment wants to explain the mystery surrounding the Nintendo Switch game to all Cooking Mama Cookstar fans.

Office Create, the rights holder to Cooking Mama, approved a detailed game design in 2019. 1st Playable the game developer and Planet followed the exact approved design. That design is the exact game on Nintendo Switch which also includes many additional Office Create suggestions which add gameplay value.

Unfortunately, creative differences arose as Cooking Mama Cookstar was near completion that were outside the scope of our agreement and the game design approved by Office Create.

By contact, Planet is fully within its rights to publish Cooking Mama Cookstar. There is no active litigation or ruling that prevents Planet from publishing the game.

Cooking Mama fans have been very enthusiastic about Cooking Mama Cookstar, including the many new features including Vegetarian and, Unicorn food, Potluck Party plus more.

We appreciate the overwhelming response and support from Cooking Mama Cookstar fans.

Office Create has our total respect. We thank them for their wisdom and wish them well.

Cooking Mama IP holders release a statement on Cooking Mama: Cookstar, say it was an unauthorized release

Things are heating up!

The Cooking Mama: Cookstar debacle continues today with the biggest bombshell yet. An official statement has been released by Office Create, the IP holders of Cooking Mama. They flat-out say that Cooking Mama: Cookstar was an unauthorized release, and they might pursue legal action. Check out their statement in full below.

We would like to thank our fans and customers for their support over the years for the Cooking Mama franchise. As many of you know, Planet Entertainment LLC (Headquarters: Connecticut, USA; "Planet") recently released "Cooking Mama: Cookstar" for sale in the U.S., Europe and Australia. This was an unauthorized release in breach of Planet’s contract with Office Create.

In August 2018, Office Create licensed Planet to develop the Cooking Mama: Cookstar game for Nintendo Switch™. Unfortunately, the quality of the game builds failed to meet the standards that our customers expect and deserve. Office Create rejected a wide range of deficiencies affecting the overall feel, quality and content of the game. Yet, despite being contractually obligated to correct the identified deficiencies and resubmit the corrected game for Office Create’s approval, Planet proceeded to release Cooking Mama: Cookstar without addressing all of the rejections and without Office Create’s approval.

We have also learned that Planet and/or its European distributor has been promoting an upcoming European release of a PS4™ version of Cooking Mama: Cookstar. Office Create has not licensed Planet (or any other entity) to create any Cooking Mama games for PS4™. Office Create itself has not been involved in the development of any PS4™ Cooking Mama game.

On March 30, 2020 Office Create notified Planet of its immediate termination of the license due to Planet’s intentional material breach of the license contract. Despite such notice, Planet continues to advertise and sell the unauthorized version of Cooking Mama: Cookstar on its website in willful violation of Office Create’s rights. To date, Planet has not confirmed the status of the unauthorized PS4™ version.

Office Create is evaluating all legal action against Planet to protect our customers, intellectual property rights and the Cooking Mama series. In the meantime, we thank our customers and loyal Cooking Mama fans for their continued support and sincerely regret any confusion and disappointment that has been caused by Planet’s conduct.

Thanks to FangztheWolf, Andreslop24, and ArmoredFrog for the heads up!

IGN Video Review - Cooking Mama: Cookstar

If you can’t stand the heat, get into Mama’s kitchen! Cooking Mama is back with her most fantastic and fun video game adventure ever!!! Introducing Cooking Mama: Cookstar. A brand-new Cooking Mama experience created specifically for Nintendo Switch.

GoNintendo Review - Cooking Mama: Cookstar (written by NintenDaan)

Less than half-baked

Ingredients:

- 1 Nintendo Switch system
- 1 Cooking Mama: Cookstar game
- a strong desire to waste your time

Cooking Mama: Cookstar is pretty undercooked, unfortunately. Never mind the discussions about blockchain DRM or the game magically disappearing from stores. In general, Cookstar is pretty raw through and through. Cookstar doesn't provide anything in the way of appetizing gameplay, making for an experience that's not much fun.

In Cooking Mama: Cookstar, players follow the guidance of Mama as they try their hand at a variety of recipes. The amount of dishes to make is actually quite surprising, and provides hours of content. Every recipe consists of multiple steps, with each requiring a certain motion input or button press. When playing on a television, Cookstar forces you to play with a singular Joy-Con due to the motion controls. Those controls don't feel quite right, and you're never given feedback on what you might be doing wrong while using them. Sadly, the game is even more depressing in handheld mode. All you do is perform simple button inputs over and over again, making for a rather tedious experience.

Cooking actions in general don't take long to perform, but they do ask you to repeat the same inputs multiple times. Each step of a recipe is presented the same way, with little in the way of variety for inputs. This leads to a rather boring gameplay loop that only grows more stale as time moves on.

Once you complete a dish, you're asked to make an Instagram post, complete with filters and different backgrounds. As always, Mama will spout phrases during this portion of gameplay as well. You might hear her exclaim, ''Pics or it didn't happen'' along with other limited phrases during the process. In the end, you are prompted to share your photo creation via real-life Twitter via the Switch's share feature.

The ultimate goal for each recipe is to get a three-star rating. If you pull this off, you'll get access to a Cookstar version of the recipe, which simply removes the button prompts. With the later recipes, the game refuses to give out three stars if you make even the slightest error. As mentioned earlier, Cookstar doesn't do a good job of explaining why you've failed a recipe, which makes getting three stars quite a chore. There were plenty of moments where I thought I nailed it, but the motion controls got in the way of my victory.

If you feel like suffering with a friend, there's a separate challenge mode that offers both co-op and versus cooking tasks. Be prepared to tackle such exciting mini-games as...cleaning dishes, which is honestly one of the better tasks in the lackluster collection. As you might have guessed, the same problems from the single player mode are present here as well, which makes it double difficult to enjoy.

The presentation isn't anything to write home about either. The 3D models are rudimentary, and the textures are surprisingly splotchy, which makes the game look like it's barely been updated since the last installment. It's pretty clear the team hasn't made a very minimal attempt at sprucing things up. The entire visual experience is extremely straightforward and pretty dull. That said, Mama herself still has that same charm from previous games when it comes to voice acting. The stilted line delivery is back once again, making things so bad they're good. Finally, some of the game's music is pulled from YouTube uploads of the older games, which only drives the point home of how barebones this experience is.

Let's go over the final recipe for Cooking Mama: Cookstar, shall we? Take a boring gameplay loop and mix generously with sour control options, then pour it into a basic pan. Sprinkle in some Mama voice acting and a sizable recipe book for a bit of flavor. That's all it takes to create a gaming experience that tastes like the worst of the dollar menu, but comes with a 3-star price tag. Hopefully your next gaming meal comes with a lot more flavor, and doesn't leave such a bad taste in your mouth.

Cooking Mama: Cookstar available to purchase via the game's official site

Now we're cooking

Cooking Mama: Cookstar might not be available on the Switch eShop yet, but the physical version is up for grabs. The only problem is finding a retailer that actually has it in stock. Amazon had a few copies early on, but now it seems all that's left are resellers asking ridiculous prices. Thankfully, a new option is now available.

The official Cooking Mama: Cookstar website now lets you purchase a physical copy directly from its store. No word on what the stock situation is like, but I'd imagine they should have a good amount of copies to go around. You can snag your order right here.

Update available for Cooking Mama: Cookstar

We have zero clue what it does

Those who have managed to track down a physical copy of Cooking Mama: Cookstar have noticed that a new update was recently pushed out to the game. Much like the game's release schedule, the contents of this update is a mystery. We have no idea what it includes, as no patch notes have been shared. All we know is that the update seems to be a somewhat sizable one.

Planet Entertainment says Cooking Mama: Cookstar isn't on the Switch eShop yet because "the whole world is upside-down with delays"

The mystery isn't over yet

Earlier today, a developer from the Cooking Mama: Cookstar team said that the game disappeared from the Switch eShop due to a legal dispute between the IP holder and Planet Entertainment, the publisher. Planet Entertainment is singing a different story on Twitter.

We know that Cookstar fans are anxiously awaiting for the game to appear in the eShop. As everybody is aware, the whole world is upside down with delays right now. At Planet Entertainment, we are as anxious as you for the digital download to be available!

The message above seems to point to the impact of the coronavirus having something to do with the game's digital release. This obviously flies in the face of what a dev team member said. Now we don't know what to believe.

On a personal note, I will say that I hope Planet Entertainment is telling the truth. If they're using the coronavirus as a cover story for the game's legal issues, that's absolutely disgusting. I sincerely hope that's not the case.

Cooking Mama: Cookstar dev says the game was pulled from the eShop due to a legal dispute, game was released against the IP holder's will

Things are going to get nasty

Well, well, well...we finally have some details on what's going on with Cooking Mama: Cookstar, and it's not pretty. A member of the dev team contacted Screenrant to share major details on the situation, and it seems a legal battle is the cause for the game's removal from the Switch eShop, along with the scarcity of the physical copies. You can check out the full message from the dev member below.

The statement about crypto-currency was all buzz words. The head of planet entertainment knows very little about these things... he just put some fancy language to get potential investors who like that stuff. As for the crashes/ overheating. That would be because the game is made in unity. By many people working on their first game... it's not the best product but it made it through several vigorous reviews by nintendo and Sony. There is no way crypto-mining stuff could get through those tests. I doubt anyone at 1p would even be able to make such a thing.

There is a legal battle between the publisher, planet entertainment and the ip holder, office create. Planet entertainment released the game against a request by office create to keep polishing the game, or perhaps even canceling it.

At one point the japanese office create clients came to oversee development. An argument started and the clients were told to go home if they weren't being "constuctive". Once they found out that planet entertainment released the game, they used their nintendo contacts to pull it from the e-shop and stop production of cartridges.

Overall, everyone at 1p loves the cooking mama franchise and did their best to make the best product considering the interference from the higher ups. I think the game is far from perfect, but would have done fine without the publishers stumbling so constantly...

..We were told the game was coming out in March. That's all anyone knew. The boss at 1p, tobi, keeps that kind of thing to herself mostly stating she doesn't want to stress us with the details... Advertising was blocked by office create too. There were youtube ads, websites, and even tik tok ads that never came out." The future of Cooking Mama: Cookstar remains uncertain, as the developer ended by saying "As I understand planet entertainment is sueing office create having it removed for money lost. It's hard to say if it will ever be released properly."

Thanks to Andreslop24 for the heads up!

GoNintendo Thought - The Cooking Mama: Cookstar mystery is equal parts intriguing and baffling

What the hell is going on?!

We're starting the week off with a juicy one, gang. You've likely heard a bit about this in recent weeks, but we've done our best to chronicle the entire situation and offer new insight. As always, thanks for reading.

______________________________________________

If someone would have told me that a Cooking Mama game would be one of the hottest discussions in the game industry for 2020, I would have had a good laugh. While the franchise has over 20 million units sold under its belt, it's not exactly the major player today that it was in the Wii's era. There would certainly be interest in a new installment, but that's not what we're talking about here. The announcement of Cooking Mama coming to the Switch has spawned into an absolutely mammoth mystery that seems to bring about more questions than answers with each turn.

The story of Cooking Mama: Cookstar first kicked off in August of 2019, when both Aussie and German ratings for the game popped up. Just a few days later, we had an official press release for a game called Cooking Mama: Coming Home to Mama. From here on out, the Cooking Mama coverage becomes a wild ride.

Cooking Mama: Coming Home to Mama, which we believe to be Cooking Mama: Cookstar by a different name, had an extremely odd press release attached to it. Publisher Planet Digital (parent of Planet Entertainment) announced the game for Switch, but the focus in the press release was about the game being "blockchain-powered." The press release claimed that blockchain aspects were being used to "add new innovative gameplay that investors can have equity in." Further details mentioned blockchain private keys, private key enabled balanced DRM, enhanced multiplayer through private keys, and more. This kind of announcement would be weird for any game, but seeing it attached to a Cooking Mama title of all things was uniquely bizarre.

Just a week later, another round of content came out, but this was for Cooking Mama: Cookstar. This info made absolutely no mention of blockchain content. With that said, it seemed like the exact same game as Cooking Mama: Coming Home to Mama, and Planet Entertainment was behind it. The chances of Planet Entertainment being involved in two Cooking Mama games that were both heading to Switch and both revealed within a week of one another makes little to no sense. For all intents and purposes, it seemed that Cooking Mama: Coming Home to Mama was Cooking Mama: Cookstar moving forward.

Ever since that round of information on the game, the confusion has only continued. Since Sept. 2019 onward, no one seemed to know when Cooking Mama: Cookstar was going to release. Multiple dates came and went through various retailer listings, with each of them getting bumped at the last minute. We even got an announcement trailer for the game in Feb. 2020, which was quickly removed after it went live. That was followed by screens and cover art for different regions, but no official mention of release date.

That brings us up to March 26th, 2020, when yet another strange occurrence happened. Nintendo held a Nintendo Direct mini on this day, which featured zero content on Cooking Mama: Cookstar. This Direct mini pushed a lot of people to the Switch eShop to download and preorder new games. One Redditor went to the eShop following the Direct and was quite surprised to see Cooking Mama: Cookstar in the 'new releases' section. Being a fan of the series, he scooped the game up, and told another friend that the game was online. When that friend went to download the game, it had mysteriously vanished. That means that, as far as we know, the game was on the eShop for a couple of hours at best, and got pulled with no explanation.

The last official bit of information actually comes from us. We had the opportunity to snag a physical copy of the game for coverage, and hopped on it. The game showed up just a few days after an email exchange with a PR company, and we even did a gameplay video for it. As we mention in the video, we still had no idea what was going on with the game's retail or digital release, and everyone seemed to be clueless. That's when the PR agency told us that physical copies should be out at retailers now, and the digital version "should be coming soon." Again, no explanation as to why the eShop version was available for a short time, and then yanked.

The Aussie and German listings, the blockchain announcement, the complete disappearance of that blockchain info, the ever-fluctuating release date, the here-and-gone digital version, the physical copy that's ridiculously tough to find, and the 'coming soon' official eShop release. Any piece of this mystery on its own is well worth dissecting, but all of it together is seriously tough to wrap your head around. How in the world all of this craziness came to be is beyond me, and things only got weirder in the last 48 hours.

Some modders, hackers, and technically-savvy people have been doing their best to find out what's up with Cooking Mama: Cookstar, and some claimed to have found blockchain content hiding in the game's retail release. Others say that isn't correct, as they've scoured the code and found nothing. Others still say that the game shows evidence of that content being included at one time, but apparently it was hastily removed. As this mystery only gets stranger, no one is sure which of the aforementioned tidbits is the real deal.

The developers behind the game actually spoke out on the blockchain matter, and they categorically deny it. We'll once again post their statement on the matter below.

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. This is a release from Feb 2019, and we presume hypothetical like most releases about blockchain are. Blockchain was never brought up to us developers, and we were entertained to hear about in late 2019. Not happening anytime soon.

As you might expect, some find the wording in this response to be a bit suspect. Some people believe the developers know more than they're letting on, and others think that another team might have been involved with trying to implement the blockchain features that apparently didn't make it into the final cut. I really wish we could give you a more concrete answer on this matter, but it seems near impossible to get a straight response from anyone involved with this.

All throughout this entire situation, Planet Entertainment has remained silent. They do have a tiny logo on the game's box, but outside of that, it seems impossible to track down info on their connection. Not even the company's website makes mention of the game. Countless people and outlets have tried to get comment from Planet Entertainment and Planet Digital on the matter, and they've been met with absolutely nothing in return. We've tried as well, and haven't heard a single thing back.

This situation is absolutely mind-boggling. How in the world did all of this happen with a Cooking Mama game, and why does it only get more confusing as time goes on?! There are still so many questions that are left unanswered. Why doesn't Planet Entertainment list the game on their site, and why won't they discuss the game? How could the game see physical release without any confirmation via press release or announcement, and why is it so hard to find? Why did the game get yanked from the Switch eShop, and what's keeping it unavailable for the time being? What was really up with the blockchain announcement, and were there actually any plans for implementation? Should those with a physical copy be worried that their Switch and internet connection is being used by hidden blockchain services? The questions go on and on, and I have a terrible feeling that we'll see very few of them answered.

At the very least, I think it's important for those who have physical copies to know what's really going on with the game. I'm sure there are owners who would get rid of the game if they knew some sneaky activity was going on underneath the game's cheery exterior. If Nintendo did indeed pull the game from the eShop due to this issue, we need to hear something. Perhaps they can't come out and say exactly what's happening, but they could give a vague response to give consumers some sort of heads up. We've reached out to Nintendo for comment, and hopefully we'll get something soon.

For now, the Cooking Mama: Cookstar mystery rages on. The internet is only getting more interested in what's happening, and there's sure to be more twists and turns in the near future. I hope one day we can crack some of these mysteries, but I truly believe that'll only ever happen through the collective detective power of the internet. At the very least, it's clear that the publisher wants to ignore this whole situation until it blows over. All we know for sure is that there's smoke in this kitchen, and it likely means fire.

Cooking Mama: Cookstar - more gameplay

Cooking Mama: Cookstar features over 80 fun and fantastic new recipes for players to master including over 50 recipes new to the Cooking Mama franchise. Cook everything from classic Japanese recipes to today’s most tasty comfort foods. Cooking Mama Switch truly has a taste of everything. Not a carnivore? Not a problem! For the first time ever Cooking Mama will feature both a traditional cooking mode and a vegetarian cooking mode. Burritos, Bibimbap, Bubble Tea, Baked Alaska, Pokebowls, Unicorn Food and so much more. Explore the diverse menu to find what suits your taste.

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