The creator of the Cooking Mama franchise is threatening legal action against publisher Planet Entertainment over what it is calling an "unauthorized release" of Switch title Cooking Mama: Cookstar. The game, which technically came out earlier this month, now seems to be caught in a partial state of retail and distribution limbo.
Cooking Mama IP holder Office Create (which developed the best-selling Nintendo DS and Wii editions of the game) said in a statement that Planet Entertainment licensed the name for Cookstar back in 2018. "Unfortunately, the quality of the game builds failed to meet the standards that our customers expect and deserve," Office Create said.
"Office Create rejected a wide range of deficiencies affecting the overall feel, quality and content of the game," the statement continued. "Yet, despite being contractually obligated to correct the identified deficiencies and resubmit the corrected game for Office Creates approval, Planet proceeded to release Cooking Mama: Cookstar without addressing all of the rejections and without Office Creates approval."
Office Create went on to say that it is "evaluating all legal action against Planet to protect our customers, intellectual property rights and the Cooking Mama series," and the company apologized to customers and fans for "any confusion and disappointment that has been caused by Planets conduct."
Reversed releases and blockchain rumors
Despite what Office Create says was an "immediate termination of the license" at the end of March, Planet actually announced Cookstar's availability at major retailers in early April. Planet also said a downloadable version on the Switch eShop was still pending only because "the whole world is upside down with delays right now."
A handful of media reviews, as well as photos and videos of gameplay from Twitter users, prove the game exists and was being distributed via retail. But as IGN reports, any sign of the game's release quickly disappeared from major storefronts in the US. While the game is currently being sold directly through an official website and European retailers, the only other offerings from major US retailers seem to be from third-party resellers (who are charging significant markups from the $39.99 MSRP).
Did you pick up your copy of Cookstar yet?
You can purchase your copy of Cooking Mama: Cookstar directly through our website for $39.99
— Cooking Mama: Cookstar (@CookstarMama) April 11, 2020
Complicating matters further, Planet issued a confusing, buzzword-filled press release last August detailing how Cookstar (which was then called Cooking Mama: Coming Home to Mama) "will be the first game to integrate blockchain technology on major consoles.Read More – Source