However, Planet Entertainment went onto release the game through Nintendo eShop – which was shortly after pulled from release, and remains unavailable to buy digitally – and physical copies of the game were released to retailers. According to the license holder, this was “an unauthorized release in breach of Planet’s contract with Office Create.”Several retailers in the US have now removed listings for the boxed game but, as of time of writing, Cooking Mama: Cookstar is available from major European retailers. IGN has now reviewed one of those physical copies, awarding the game a 3/10.
Office Create says it subsequently terminated Planet Entertainment’s license for the game, and is “evaluating all legal action against Planet to protect our customers, intellectual property rights and the Cooking Mama series.” It seems likely that the game will not receive another digital release, at the very least while the dispute is ongoing.
This statement confirms several elements of an anonymous interview given to ScreenRant, which also claims that Office Create used its contacts at Nintendo to have the game pulled from sale. A separate anonymous source, speaking to IGN, also stated that there had been disagreements between Planet and Office Create when the license holder visited to offices of developer 1st Playable Productions last year. Office Create’s statement does not mention 1st Playable’s involvement at any point.Office Create’s statement also brings up the mooted PS4 version of the game, effectively saying it is unaware of any version of the game outside of Nintendo Switch: “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.”
At time of writing, Cookstar’s European distributor, Koch Media still lists a PS4 version of the game, with a release date of May 12 and a price of €39.99. IGN spoke to a representative Koch Media last week, who was unable to confirm whether the PS4 version was still coming, despite that listing.
It’s another twist in an already bizarre story, which previously forced 1st Playable to deny the game was secretly mining cryptocurrency while you played. IGN reached out to Office Create for comment on the Screenrant article last week, but has received no response. Planet Entertainment hasn’t replied to IGN requests for comment for several weeks.
Joe Skrebels is IGN’s Executive Editor of News, and can’t believe how much he’s thought about Cooking Mama in recent weeks. Follow him on Twitter.